HC Deb 09 July 1953 vol 517 cc1469-70
28. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that his use of the Agricultural Marketing Acts and other Acts is leading the way to the nationalisation of the farming industry; and if he will make a statement on his future policy in this regard.

Sir T. Dugdale

No, Sir. On the contrary, the Government are moving steadily towards a freer agricultural economy, as is shown by the decontrol of eggs and the forthcoming decontrol of cereals and feedingstuffs.

Sir W. Smithers

Whatever the Minister says, does he not realise that in fact he is operating the Socialist policy of land nationalisation, that farmers are being dispossessed without the right of appeal to an ordinary traditional court of English law on points of fact and merit, and would he, as a Conservative Minister, stop doing these things?

Sir T. Dugdale

That has nothing whatever to do with the Marketing Acts. It may be of interest to my hon. Friend to know that any marketing scheme, before it becomes the law of the land, must first come to this House and then be agreed to by a large majority of the producers themselves.

Mr. G. Brown

Will the right hon. Gentleman accept that anxiety by the farmers about setting the industry free is the biggest conclusive proof that he is not operating Socialist policy?