HC Deb 12 December 1938 vol 342 cc1596-7
51. Brigadier-General Brown

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will set up an independent commission to survery and investigate the whole field of the home agricultural industry, and to report on the rightful place that agriculture should take in the national economy?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the replies given on Thursday last by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and myself to my hon. Friends the Members for South West Norfolk (Mr. de Chair), Evesham (Mr. De la Bère) and East Fife (Mr. Henderson Stewart).

Brigadier-General Brown

While thanking my right hon. Friend, does he not realise that his policy of helping commodity by commodity is merely a temporary stopgap and is not having any effect; and does he not realise that, if he wants to give confidence to the agricultural industry and to the country, he must base his policy on an independent investigation and survey of the whole field?

Mr. Morrison

I cannot accept the statement of my hon. and gallant Friend. Many of these commodities are being dealt with on permanent lines.

Viscountess Astor

Is it not the fact that an independent committee has been sitting for over two years, and that it has made a complete survey of the agricultural problem and has a plan which, if put into operation, might really restore the position of agriculture in this country?

Mr. Morrison

I have read the book to which the Noble Lady refers.

Sir Henry Morris-Jones

Have the Government under consideration at the present time a fresh review of the whole policy with regard to agriculture?

Mr. Levy

Is it the fact that this piecemeal legislation, however very beneficial it may have been, is of no earthly use to agriculture?

65. Mr. Ridley

asked the Minister of Agriculture what administrative measures the Government are taking to pursue an active and constructive policy for the economic development of the agricultural industry and the improvement of the conditions of those engaged in it; and what specific measures he proposes to introduce to fulfil the intentions declared in the King's Speech at the opening of the present Session?

Mr. Morrison

The whole agricultural policy of the Government is directed towards the objects referred to in the first part of the question. As regards the second part, I would refer the hon. Member to the Gracious Speech itself, and to the replies which I gave to the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Mathers) on nth July, to my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams) on 1st November and to the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) last Friday.

Mr. Ridley

Is the right hon. Gentleman not conscious of the fact that all his difficulties are arising because of the complete failure of the Government to live up to the terms and the language contained in the King's Speech?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir.

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