HC Deb 09 February 1956 vol 548 cc1801-2
52. Mr. Vane

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether his attention has been drawn to the decision of the Milk Marketing Board to discontinue the payment of a production bonus; whether he is aware that this decision will discourage the expansion of production on many small marginal farms; and what measures he intends to take to counterbalance this loss of production.

Mr. Amory

I am aware of the decision of the Milk Marketing Board to abolish the milk production bonus between now and March, 1958. The bonus is paid out of the Board's funds, the distribution of which to its members is a matter within the discretion of the Board. I have no reason to think that the withdrawal of the bonus will have a significant effect on milk production in England and Wales.

Mr. Vane

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the production of milk is often the key to expanding production on many small, marginal farms, and that the withdrawal of this bonus is bound in the end to discourage many of these small farmers? Will he try, in the Price Review, to see whether it is not possible to do something to help those small farmers on poor land on whom we depend for so much?

Mr. Amory

I will bear in mind what my hon. Friend has said.