HC Deb 07 April 1938 vol 334 c646

9.2 p.m.

Mr. Wedderburn

I beg to move, to leave out the Clause.

This Clause enables the Ministers to amend a marketing scheme on the recommendation of the Commission without going through the usual formalities (that is, a poll, publication and public inquiry), prescribed for amendments put forward under Clause 13 on the one hand, and without a recommendation from the Committee of Investigation under Clause 16, on the other. The primary object in conferring these powers on Ministers was to enable them to make as quickly and conveniently as possible any amendments which might be required to prevent a clash between the effects of any two schemes, and also to take emergency action if any provisions of the scheme were found to be operating against the public interest; and if the situation did not justify the Ministers in having recourse to the extreme remedy of revoking a scheme it enabled the Commission to make non-controversial amendments without the necessity of taking a poll. In the opinion of hon. Members this represented a considerable departure from the principle of self-government, which is inherent in the marketing schemes machinery, and it is no doubt for that reason that a number of hon. Members put their names down to this Amendment of my right hon. Friend. On consideration it seems doubtful whether the purposes for which the Clause was drafted are really sufficient to justify such a departure, and, therefore, I am now proposing that the Clause should be omitted from the Bill.

Sir D. Thomson

May I thank the Under-Secretary for meeting the views we expressed in Committee?

Amendment agreed to.