HC Deb 03 November 1947 vol 443 cc1334-5
48. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the loss of cattle food occasioned by the action of the West Suffolk Agricultural Committee's instructions to plough in 20 acres of buckwheat, and since the West Suffolk Agricultural Committee, and other agricultural committees, are agents of the Government, if he will give a specific assurance that this kind of procedure will not be again permitted.

The Joint Parliamenary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. George Brown)

No, Sir, I would refer the hon. Member to the replies which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for London University (Sir E. Graham-Little) on 24th October and the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers) on 27th October.

Mr. De la Bère

Where are the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Food today? Is it a fact that they have had two very awkward questions addressed to them, and that they have both had to stay away because they do not want to face them?

Sir W. Smithers

Why, in the case of the cutting down of this buckwheat, has the farmer had to suffer loss because of the ignorance and folly of some official?

Mr. Brown

It is difficult to reply to that question because, as the hon. Member knows, this case will be the subject of police court proceedings. I can only say that those farmers who play the game have to be protected, and that enters into a matter like this.

Sir W. Smithers

On a point of Order. The hon. Member has referred to a police court. There is no such thing; it is the magistrates' court.

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