HC Deb 12 July 1939 vol 349 cc2357-9

Order for Consideration of Lords Amendments read.

9.1 p.m.

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I beg to move, "That the Lords Amendments be now considered."

Perhaps it may for the convenience of the House if I give a brief resume of what these Amendments mean. None of them raises any new question of principle at all. For the most part they are either of a drafting character or are certain Amendments of detail of the machinery. A number of them actually have come about as the result of the Wheat Commission having to draft the by-laws which have to be made as soon as the Bill becomes law. There are, however, two Amendments which are of some substance. The first one is represented by the new Sub-section (7) to Clause 7, to which the first Amendment which will come before the House is consequential. The effect of the new Subsection will be to grant a tolerance to those millers who happen to include rather more than the maximum of wheat content in provender mixture destined for livestock. The new Sub-section provides that in such circumstances the miller shall make the quota payment only in respect of the excess of the wheat content and not on the whole of it. I think that that will go a long way to meet what was put forward in all parts of the House, namely, that the small miller should have protection.

The other Amendment of substance is a new Sub-section (4) to Clause 8, the object of which is to provide machinery to give effect to what, I think, was the agreed intention, namely, that there should be no quota payment liability in respect of certain milled wheaten substances, so that the amount of the liability should be suitably reduced, provided that they were used as food for livestock. But for this Sub-section hardship might arise to the importer. The importer at the time of importation of low-grade flour could not be certain whether that flour would be used for livestock or not. In such circumstances he could not claim any remission of quota payment at the time of importation. The new Sub-section provides that, if the importer makes a quota payment and can subsequently prove to the Wheat Commission that the flour has in fact been used as food for livestock, he can get a rebate. This will also affect, though not to anything like the same amount, the home miller, who would generally know the destination of his flour. Most of the other Amendments that will come before the House are consequential on the addition of these new Sub-sections, and, if it is the view of the House, I propose, after this explanation, to move formally each succeeding Amendment as it is reached, and then answer any questions that may arise on them.

9.5 p.m.

Mr. Alexander

I doubt very much whether from an examination of these-very technical Amendments there would be one in a hundred members who could possibly understand them, unless they had made it a very special study and task. In view of the long discussion we had in the last stage of the Bill in this House, sitting very late at night, I have taken special care not to put myself in the position of having to understand every word in these Amendments, but I have been guided by an expert, who took the same view as myself on the previous stage, and I can assure my hon. Friends that there is nothing in these Lords Amendments to which we need take ex- ception, based upon the policy we took up in the last stage of the discussion. So far as I am concerned, I should not mind if the right hon. Gentleman moved the adoption of the Amendments en bloc.

Lords Amendments accordingly considered.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Colonel Clifton Brown)

Will it be for the convenience of the House to take the Amendments en bloc?

Hon. Members

Agreed. Lords Amendments agreed to.