§ Considered in Committee under Standing Order 84 (Money Committees).—[King's Recommendation signified.]
§ [Colonel Sir CHARLES MACANDREW in the Chair]
Motion made, and Question proposed:
That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of grants in respect of petrol-driven machines used in connection with agriculture and of contributions towards costs of providing fertilisers used for agricultural land, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament—
§ 3.57 p.m.
§ Mr. Turton (Thirsk and Malton)
Before we leave this Financial Resolution, I ask the Minister to consider withdrawing it and re-introducing it in a different form. The Committee will see that in paragraph (b) it is limited to a payment ofcontributions towards costs of providing fertilisers used on land under grass or ploughed up from grass.Whether the Parliamentary Secretary, in his vigorous defence of the Bill, was right or wrong about the method of the fertiliser subsidy, it is quite clear that, unless the Financial Resolution can be amended, we cannot discuss the relative advantages of giving a flat rate subsidy or one directed to certain fertilisers under subsection (3) of Clause 2 of the Bill. I am sure the Minister wants this to be properly discussed in the Committee stage and I ask him so to phrase the Financial Resolution that it will not inhibit Debate at that stage. Unless this is done, the Debate on Clause 2 and following Clauses in Committee will be completely unreal. We believe we have very strong arguments for arguing that the fertiliser subsidy should be directed not to the land but to the fertilisers, and in that we are carrying out the advice tendered to Ministers of Agriculture throughout Europe by the O.E.E.C. and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. I think it is quite wrong that this Resolution should be so drawn that the Opposition cannot present their views in a Committee stage of this House. I do hope the Minister will intimate that he will so amend the Resolution that we can have that Debate at that later stage. It would be extremely unfortunate if we were debarred.
Mr. T. Williams
The hon. Member is inviting me to go back on the February price review. He knows full well that is a physical impossibility.
§ It being Four o'clock The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report Progress, and ask leave to sit again.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.