HC Deb 02 April 1953 vol 513 cc1356-7
40. Mr. Alport

asked the Minister of Agriculture to make a statement on the future of the National Agricultural Advisory Service and the prospects of restoring this link between this service and the university agricultural faculties.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. G. R. H. Nugent)

In view of the need to concentrate our energies on the production drive, my right hon. Friend is not at present proposing to make any change in the organisation of the National Agricultural Advisory Service.

Mr. Alport

Does my hon. Friend realise that this change would restore the sense of confidence which the agricultural community have had in the National Advisory Service by feeling that it is an independent body and one to which farmers may go with the knowledge that they will get objective advice on the problems which affect them? Does not my hon. Friend think it important that this change should be undertaken in the near future?

Mr. Nugent

I cannot agree with my hon. Friend's premise that farmers have not confidence in the existing advisory service. My right hon. Friend has, however, set up a working party under my noble friend Lord Carrington to look into this general matter, and in due course we shall study the result in their report.