HC Deb 10 February 1958 vol 582 cc2-3
1. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made in giving the consumers an indication of the age of a fresh egg and in speeding up egg collection from the farms for delivery to packing stations.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. J. B. Godber)

Responsibility for these matters now rests with the British Egg Marketing Board. I suggest that the hon. Member should pursue his inquiry with the Board.

Mr. Dodds

Are the hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friend sufficiently friendly with the Board to be able to find out some information, and since their Department was so much concerned in setting it up, can the Minister say whether any improvement has been made by way of informing the housewife of the age of an egg?

Mr. Godber

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we are on the most cordial terms with the Board, but these responsibilities are within its powers and I should have thought it more appropriate for the hon. Gentleman to approach it direct.

17. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied with the administration of the egg subsidy; and what inquiries are at present being made.

Mr. Godber

As the hon. Member knows, the guarantees on eggs are now being implemented by the British Egg Marketing Board under a financial agreement with the Government. My right hon. Friend is satisfied with these general arrangements. Under the agreement, the Board is required to maintain an adequate internal audit and inspection. I know of no inquiries other than those arising out of these functions.

Mr. Willey

I am very pleased to hear it, but as this is a subsidy running up to nearly £50 million, will not the Joint Parliamentary Secretary recognise that his Department still has a very real responsibility for assuring the taxpayer that this is properly spent?

Mr. Godber

Yes, I gladly give the assurance. All this is subject to our own audits, and we keep the most careful check upon these matters.

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