HC Deb 02 December 1953 vol 521 cc1142-3
22 and 23. Mr. Peart

asked the Minister of Food (1) when he will be in a position to announce his proposals to counteract buying rings in auction market transactions;

(2) what action his Department proposes to take in cases of rigged markets as a consequence of the selling of fat stock on the free market.

Major Lloyd George

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Members for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) and Norfolk, Central (Brigadier Medlicott) on 26th November, to which I am not yet able to add.

Mr. Peart

Is the Minister aware that the proposals of the Government to return the marketing of fat stock to private auctions is bitterly resented, and that if the scheme is carried out there will be a return to the old practice of rigged markets, with dealers coming in? Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give a firm statement that he will do something? After all, the Minister of Agriculture promised to do something.

Major Lloyd George

I recommend the hon. Member to read the White Paper, in which he will find that not only have we done something, but that in regard to the very question to which he refers, discussions are now taking place with all the interests concerned.

Mr. Baldwin

If the auction markets were such sinks of iniquity before the war, can my right hon. and gallant Friend say why farmers did not support the grade and dead-weight system which was in existence for some seven years in various parts of Britain?

Mr. Peart

Is the Minister aware that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture condemned these private auctions in his own pamphlet?

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