§ 63. Mr. Mathers
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food why the special position of Scottish straw berry growers was not provided for when the controlled price was put in operation from 29th June, before the Scottish crop was ripe, but after English growers had 315 had weeks of sale at competitive prices; whether prior consultation took place with Scottish producers and merchants and with what result; and whether the Scottish position will be recognised in such matters in future?
Major Lloyd George
The special position of the Scottish strawberry growers was considered by my Department in consultation with Scottish producers before the Soft Fruits (Maximum Prices) Order was made. The Order was framed after full consideration had been given to the views which producers and traders had been invited to put before my Department, and the price fixed for strawberries was intended to provide the growers with a remunerative return on their crops as a whole. Representations on this matter have since been made to my Department and representatives of the Scottish growers have been assured that any evidence they may submit to show that the prices fixed for their strawberries are inadequate will be carefully considered.
§ Mr. Mathers
Was agreement obtained with the Scottish growers before this particular date was fixed? Is the Minister aware that this is looked upon as another indication of the way in which his Ministry ignore the special Scottish interests?
Major Lloyd George
I am afraid I cannot possibly accept the last part of my hon. Friend's Supplementary Question, because Scottish interests have been very carefully looked after. I can assure him that the interests of the Scottish growers were taken into consideration, and I am sure my hon. Friend will appreciate the difficulty of having different dates for a maximum price order in different parts of the country. As I have said, they have been invited to show costs to support their claim, and, when they do that, they will have very sympathetic consideration.