HC Deb 11 June 1940 vol 361 cc1142-3
71 and 72. Sir Adrian Baillie

asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) whether his scheme for fixing new prices of agricultural products to meet the increased charges on farming will include fruit and vegetables;

(2) whether he will now state the names of the agricultural products on which his Ministry is working out the actual new prices which are to take account of additional farming costs; whether any of these prices have been definitely fixed; and, if not, when he expects to be able to make a statement on the subject to enable farmers and stockbreeders to plan ahead?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. T. Williams)

My right hon. Friend fully realises that farmers and stockbreeders are anxious to have the earliest possible information with regard to the adjustments in prices which the Government have undertaken to make in order to take account of the additional costs which have to be faced. The matter is receiving urgent attention and my right hon. Friend hopes to be in a position to make a statement at an early date. I would ask my hon. Friend to allow any indication of the products to be covered to be deferred until my right hon. Friend is able to make the general statement to which I have referred.

Sir A. Baillie

Can my hon. Friend give any specific information in regard to Question No. 71?

Mr. Williams

I hope that my hon. Friend will await the statement which is to be made by my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

What is to be the basis upon which these prices are to be fixed, because conditions vary from farm to farm?

Mr. Williams

That is a highly complex problem with which my right hon. Friend is at the moment dealing.

Sir J. Lamb

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say when these fixed prices will be issued, and will it be before the actual Order comes into operation or not?

Mr. Williams

As soon as my right hon. Friend has made up his mind, a statement will be made by him.

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the farmer cannot pay the increased wages until he gets the higher prices for his produce?