HC Deb 01 December 1952 vol 508 cc1094-5
37. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Minister of Food why he gave so little warning to Scottish egg producers and the Scottish Farmers' Union about his intention to set up an Egg Marketing Scheme.

Major Lloyd George

I think there must be some misunderstanding. As indicated in my statement on 26th November, orderly marketing arrangements will be maintained while ample opportunity is being given for the development of future plans by the interests concerned.

Mr. Hughes

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the Scottish National Farmers' Union have expressed the view that it will take at least a year to promote such a scheme and fear that there will be chaos on the market which will be in the interests of neither the producer nor the consumer?

Major Lloyd George

I do not think the hon. Member need worry. The interim scheme is one thing, but it is the permanent scheme, which I think he has in mind, with which we are concerning ourselves.

Major Anstruther-Gray

How long does my right hon. and gallant Friend consider it will take before a satisfactory marketing scheme can be worked out?

Major Lloyd George

That would be a very difficult thing to say because, as my hon. and gallant Friend knows, there are some extremely complicated matters to be decided under the Act of 1947, and so forth. That is why we are proceeding in stages, first with the interim scheme, so that, in the meantime, all interests concerned can examine the situation.

Sir W. Smithers

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that in Russia they had to give up control of farms and farm prices because control did not work?

38. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Food the number of eggs issued per ration book this year to the latest available date, and how this compares with the corresponding period last year.

Major Lloyd George

The average number of allocations up to 19th November this year was 93, the same as for the corresponding period of last year.

Mr. Willey

As the Minister has already told the House that we have fewer laying birds than last year, does not this answer make it quite clear that he has no pretext whatever to de-control eggs, and that his action is really scandalous?

Major Lloyd George

The only pretext I have is that I want to get more eggs into the shops.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the Minister still convinced that ordinary persons will get more eggs during the forthcoming year than they have ever had in the past?

Major Lloyd George

Yes, I should have thought so.

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