HC Deb 03 July 1940 vol 362 cc827-8
43. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Prime Minister whether he will find time for the Motion standing in the name of the hon. Member for Evesham relating to Government fixation of prices for agricultural produce?

[That this House notes with grave concern the reluctance on the part of farmers to employ the services of additional labour now available for work on the farms, and attributes this reluctance to the fact that farmers do not know the prices they will receive for their produce and are therefore unwilling to incur additional expense, and in many cases to increase their indebtedness to the banks, without some clearly defined statement from the Government in regard to the prices to be paid for all produce from the farms; is fully aware of the Government's assurance that prices will cover all increased expense, but feels that this assurance should now be expressed in some tangible, concrete, and crystallised form.]

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Attlee)

No, Sir, I can hold out no hope of time being given for the discussion of this Motion. I would, however, remind my hon. Friend of the recent statement made by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and also of the general Debate on agriculture which takes place to-morrow.

Mr. De la Bère

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the all-important part of this Motion relates to the indebtedness of agriculturists to the banks? Is he not himself the chairman of a Cabinet committee dealing with agricultural matters, and would he inquire into it himself and give us the value of his advice?

Mr. Attlee

I shall be willing to inquire into anything which the hon. Member suggests.

Mr. De la Bère

Would the right hon. Gentleman support it then? A stereotyped answer is no good without support.