HC Deb 18 July 1939 vol 350 cc309-10

9.13 p.m.

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I beg to move, in page 15, line 27, to leave out paragraph (a), and to insert: (a) for securing that certificates of sale shall be issued only in proper cases and that the particulars stated in such certificates shall be truly and accurately stated, and, for that purpose, for securing that particular functions relating to the issue of such certificates shall be exerciseable only by persons duly authorised in that behalf under the scheme. During the proceedings in the Standing Committee I indicated that certain representations had been made to me by the trading interests concerned that the provisions in paragraph (a) of Clause 15 were not satisfactory and might give rise to certain difficulties in the administration of a barley scheme. The main object of paragraph (a) of this Clause is to enable a barley scheme to contain provisions for securing that the buyers of home-grown barley who will have to act as agents of the Minister in the issue of the certificates of sale for which provision is made in Clause 12 (1, d) are fit and proper people to discharge that function. On giving further consideration to the question, it seems to me to be preferable to follow the practice adopted under the Wheat Act, where the merchants who issue wheat certificates do so under an authority issued by the Wheat Commission, instead of by requiring such persons to take out a licence and providing, as the Clause at present does, that only persons holding a licence should buy home-grown barley from a grower.

Mr. Charles Brown

Who are the trading interests to whom the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has referred?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

All the people concerned in the barley industry. Just the same as the Wheat Commission has to deal with a number of interests within the wheat industry, so there will be various interests, merchants, brewers, and so on, in the barley scheme. Our idea is to get a workable scheme which will function. Therefore, we propose that the procedure should be for the authorisation of these people along the same lines as those which have worked well on the Wheat Commission, and not as we originally drafted the scheme.

9.15 p.m.

Mr. J. Morgan

Here is a case where people who are interested in getting hold of a proper article are making very sure that only certificated goods are to get the benefit of this scheme. We have been loose in regard to who shall get the oatssubsidy, because no certificate on the same lines will be required in that case. They will be regarded as. proper cases so long as they can make a. declaration that they have grown oats, even though they have not been visited. Here the brewers and distillers— because they are the trading interests; it is not the baby food merchants here— are insisting upon the insertion of certain guaranteesthat they as buyers and users of this barely shall not be '' had '' and that the barley they want is duly produced. I feel that this is a reflection on the Minister's attitude towards growers of other commodities in which the public purse only is concerned. Here, when the brewers say they must have protection, they can bring such pressure on the Minister as to secure that only certificated barley shall get the assistance.

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I would point out that the Treasury are also concerned in this, because we have to get a certificate that it is either barley destined for an industrial purpose or barley not destined for an industrial purpose. Therefore, what I have to do is to see that the people who give these certificates are the right people for the work.

Mr. Morgan

But the Minister did not represent it in that way. He said that certain trading interests had required the insertion of this particular paragraph. The Treasury are just as much interested in oats and other commodities, but the same process is not adopted there. It is clear that the Minister's first representation is the correct one, and that certain interests have required that this should be done to protect their position in the matter.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 15, line 41, leave out "for such a licence or." — [Sir R. Dorman-Smith.]