HC Deb 20 February 1951 vol 484 cc1042-3
20. Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in view of the high profits made in the 1950 wool clip, whether he will amend the Wool Marketing Scheme to allow certain distributions of profits to the producers before the statutory five years.

Mr. McNeil

No amendment of the Wool Marketing Scheme, as such, is necessary to enable the Marketing Board to make supplementary payments to producers registered under the Scheme. Provision for making limited supplementary payments is made under the agreed financial arrangements. No request has been received from either the National Farmers' Unions or the Wool Marketing Board for additional payments to be made to individual producers from any annual surplus.

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

Do I understand from that reply that the Wool Marketing Board can make a distribution of profits without reference to the Secretary of State? Is that the case?

Mr. McNeil

It is a quite complicated matter. I do not think the noble Lord was making the point that he perhaps wanted to make in his Question, but the distribution cannot be made outwith the existing financial arrangements.

Mr. Snadden

In order to clear up, this point, is it not a fact that any such alteration would require the consent of Parliament, in which case the Secretary of State would have to come to the House with an amending scheme?

Mr. McNeil

Any change within the agreed five years would, as the hon. Gentleman has said, require the assent of Parliament.