HC Deb 27 July 1944 vol 402 cc889-90
49. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in connection with the consultations he had with the Minister of Food regarding the fixation of prices for plums, he can state why, since the delegates representing the fruit growers were not in agreement with the suggested prices, the matter was not put to arbitration; and if he can give an assurance that in all such future cases where agreement cannot be reached facilities for arbitration will be afforded.

Mr. Hudson

No, Sir. I am not prepared to give any such assurance. The final responsibility for fixing the prices of agricultural produce rests with the Government.

Mr. De la Bère

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a very important point of principle involved here? Is it not a fact that he, together with the Minister of Food, rode roughshod over the delegates from the official body, notwithstanding the protests of certain delegates? Are we to understand that they are going to be ignored and denied the right of arbitration?

Sir John Mellor

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in one district the Minister of Food pre-empted a non-existent crop?

Mr. De la Bére

May I make a very vigorous protest?

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