HC Deb 31 March 1958 vol 585 cc827-8
13. Mr. F. Willey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on horticulture.

Mr. John Hare

As I have told the House, I am anxious to make a statement at the earliest possible moment on the principal recommendations of the Runciman Report, I regret that, owing to the complexity of these matters, and the need to take account of the views of a very large number of interested parties, I shall not be in a position to do so until after the Easter Recess. There will be no avoidable delay.

Mr. Willey

Is the Minister aware that I am much obliged to him for his statement, and that we appreciate that he is new to his office and that this is a complicated question? May I ask him if he will regard this as a matter of urgent priority and see that a statement is made as soon as possible, and, if necessary, that legislation is introduced to implement it?

Mr. Hare

I do not want to repeat myself, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I am very concerned that a statement should be made as soon as possible. I have a lot of people to talk to—there are twenty-six local authorities to consult as well as traders. I shall try to speed up an announcement to the best of my ability.

Major Legge-Bourke

In addition to my right hon. Friend's decision about the Runciman Report, may I ask him whether he will give immediate and urgent attention to the very serious problem developing in the tomato section of the industry so far as Spanish imports are concerned?

Mr. Hare

I am sure that, since you have allowed that question to be in order, Mr. Speaker, it is in order. Certainly. I will listen to what my hon. and gallant Friend has just said.