HC Deb 03 May 1937 vol 323 cc921-4

10.43 p.m.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I beg to move in page 11, line 2, to leave out "for the time being."

This Amendment is introductory to a series of Amendments on Clause 14. The Clause provides that no new markets can come into existence without the approval of the Commission. The object of that is to prevent market re-organisation being nullified by new markets coming into existence without control. This group of Amendments first makes it clear that approval of the market is to be by order, that is to say, by a certain document which conveys the approval of Commission and that the order must have Ministerial approval so that it is backed by Ministerial responsibility, and can be questioned as such. Secondly, these Amendments make it clear that the Commission are not only to consult the Livestock Advisory Committee and other interests before they give approval to a new market, but that they are also to give any interested person an opportunity of appearing before them and are to consider any representations which may be made before they submit their order for approval by the Minister.

Those two purposes indicate a growing recognition of the importance which approval of a new market has to existing markets round about it. It is clear that the approval of a new market may greatly affect existing markets, and it is for that reason that we have laid greater stress on the procedure of consultation before a market is approved. The third thing which these Amendments do is to remove the special conditions as to the control of new markets. We feel that the correct procedure with regard to a new market is that the Commission should examine what is proposed, having regard to its layout and equipment, and if they are satisfied that the market is to be a good modern one, that they should approve it, and that it should then be in exactly the same position as a market which continues in existence because it has been in existence before. We think that is an easier way, than to leave both old and new markets to further regulation, if necessary, by means of livestock market orders and by-laws

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made:

In page 11, line 3, after "by," insert "an order of."

In line 3, after "Commission," insert: for the time being in force, being an order made with the approval of the appropriate Minister.

In page11 leave out lines 4 to 11.—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]

10.46 p.m.

Mr. Ramsbotham

I beg to move, in page 1, line 17, after "occupier," to insert: or any sale of livestock being a sale incidental to a sale of the farm or to the termination of a tenancy thereof. Clause 14 provides that unless premises are used for a market during the year ending 3oth November, 1936, they will be subject to the approval of the Commission but a sale on a farm by or on behalf of the occupier was exempted from the restriction of the Clause. In the Committee stage it was felt that it was not certain under these words that sales on dispersal were covered and we undertook that words would be inserted in the Bill to exempt sales of that kind.

10.47 p.m.

Mr. T. Williams

Do we understand that at a sale incidental to the sale of a farm or to the termination of a tenancy, farmers can bring cattle to that farm to be sold?

Mr. Ramsbotham


Mr. Williams

I gather that this is not a common practice. That may be the case, but I submit that if additions are made to the exemptions that are to be given, so that these sales can be con- ducted on ordinary farms, it will endanger the possibility of any substantial marketing scheme. The Bill already allows the individual to sell his cattle on the farm, and it is obvious that merchants and middlemen will do their best to go to farms and affect the market schemes. If these sales can be organised, the market schemes are bound to be endangered. I can understand a sale at the termination of a tenancy or where a farm is being sold, but to allow farmers in the area to bring in cattle for disposal will harm the central marketing scheme.

10.49 p.m.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

It is true, as the hon. Gentleman says, that if this practice were exploited it would do considerable harm, but it is surely not expected that it will do so. Its intention is an entirely different one. In my part of the country, especially in the Highlands, these sales occur when a farm changes hands, and as the farmers in the locality may be 20 or 30 miles away from the market, it is natural that one or two farmers round about should send in their cattle to be sold there. I think I was the one who moved this Amendment in Committee. I did so because of my own personal knowledge and the great hardship that would he imposed on farmers if this were not permitted. It happens now, and we ask that it should be continued. I imagine that if it were misused the Commission would have to take steps to prevent that.

10.51 p.m.

Mr. Turton

I think that if the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) goes round the agricultural parts of his constituency he will find that this Amendment is meeting the needs of his agricultural constituents, and he will be wise not to press his point too far or he will lose some of those agricultural votes on which he relies. This is one of the few occasions when an undertaking given by the Minister in Committee has not been fulfilled in full. There is the question of the sale of pedigree stock. I regret that the Amendment is not wider. The periodical sales of pedigree stock are of prime importance to agriculture, and I am sure that the Minister does not for a moment want to forbid those sales. This is a case where the Minister might consider the matter, and, if possible, insert further words in another place.

10.52 p.m.

Mr. Haslam

I should like to add my plea to those of other hon. Members. This is an old custom and a very convenient one for farmers where there is a sale at a certain farm, and if they have some stock to dispose of, to be able to send it there, too. There is no real likelihood of this custom being abused. No one can tell when a farm is going to change hands, and it is almost inconceivable that any auctioneers should try to manufacture a sale of this kind. Farmers would very much resent it if this old custom were abolished. It does not have any great effect on the number of cattle going to market.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made:

In page line 38, leave out "previous approval of," and insert "order approving."

In line 38, at the end, insert: without prejudice, however, to the making of a new order approving the premises.

In line 38, at the end, insert: (3) Where an application is made to the Commission for their approval of any premises under this Section, the Commission, before coming to a decision on the application, shall consult the Livestock Advisory Committee and such local authorities and other bodies as appear to the Commission to be representative of interests concerned, and shall give to any person appearing to the Commission to be interested in the matter of the application a reasonable opportunity of making representations to the Commission, and take any such representations into consideration.

In line 39, after "under," insert: paragraph (b) of the proviso to Subsection (1) of."—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]