§ 76. Major Procter
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the fact that Mr. Lumb, of Higher Bushcroft Farm, High Crompton, Shaw, near Oldham, Lancashire, was recently summoned to appear before the Milk Marketing Board at Thames House, London, to answer certain complaints made against him; and whether, in view of the fact that the charges were dismissed, arrangements will be made to reimburse Mr. Lumb for the expenses which he has incurred in attending the hearing of the case in London and in arranging for his defence?
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
I am aware of the case referred to. The Milk Marketing Board have no power to summon registered producers to appear before them, but they are required to give registered 1032 producers, against whom contraventions of the scheme are alleged, an opportunity of being heard before imposing a penalty. As to the last part of the question, I cannot undertake to advise whether the scheme permits the course suggested by my hon. and gallant Friend, but in any case the matter is one for the board, and I have no power to intervene.
§ Major Procter
Seeing that the Minister's reply disguises the real intention of the board's actions, will he not state that the Milk Marketing Board, who act as prosecutors and as imitation magistrates, and bring men down from Lancashire, should reimburse this man for the injustice which he has received at their hands?
§ Mr. Morrison
I have no power to do so, but I am investigating the whole question of the imposition of penalties by marketing boards.
§ Sir Percy Harris
Is the right hon. Gentleman going into the whole procedure of these marketing boards, in accordance with the undertaking that was given?