HC Deb 19 July 1944 vol 402 cc182-3
51. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that prices fixed for this season's plum crop are causing grave concern in the growing areas, owing to the extensive frost damage sustained; how his figures were arrived at; why they were not agreed with growers' representa- tives; and if he will reconsider them immediately.

Colonel Llewellin

I am aware that the prices fixed are less than those proposed by the growers. They were fixed in consultation between my Department and the Ministry of Agriculture, in the light of growers' representations, of crop estimates made after the late frosts, and of the returns secured by growers in the previous two seasons. The answer to the last part of the Question must therefore be, No, Sir.

Mr. De la Bère

Has there been any real consultation and negotiation with the National Farmers' Union in the matter of these prices? Was not this price merely a dictated price? Why is it necessary to break the hearts of the growers over and over again?

Colonel Llewellin

It was the National Farmers' Union with whom we consulted. Of course, my job is to fix a price which is reasonable to the producer and also fair to the consumer.

Mr. De la Bère

Are we to understand that the National Farmers' Union agreed that this was a fair and just price?

Colonel Llewellin

No, I do not think I would say that.

Mr. De la Bére

In view of that, why does not my right hon. and gallant Friend review the whole matter again? It is thoroughly unsatisfactory.

Dr. Morgan

Are there any capable doctors in the Minister's Department who are good heart-menders?

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