HC Deb 04 June 1957 vol 571 cc1053-5
8. Mr. du Cann

asked the President of the Board of Trade what reply he has given to the farmers' unions of the United Kingdom respecting their proposal made to him in February, 1956, for a higher tariff upon herbage vegetable root and flower seeds, having regard to the reasoned objections made by the seed trade organisations.

Mr. Walker-Smith

This application is still under consideration.

Mr. du Cann

Will my right hon. and learned Friend bear in mind, as I am sure he will, the potentially harmful effect that this prolonged uncertainty can have upon a highly seasonal seed trade, and will he do his utmost to see that an early decision is made?

Mr. Walker-Smith

It is always desirable to get as early a decision as is compatible with a full review of the application and of the representations received in regard to it. In this case a very large number of representations have been received, and it is a technically difficult and controversial application.

Mr. T. Williams

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind, while considering this proposal, the need to hold the balance even, as there are far more consumers of seeds than there are producers?

Mr. Walker-Smith

It is always our object and intention, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, to hold the balance even; and it is for that reason that these applications perhaps take a little more time to consider than if that consideration were not so present in our minds.