HC Deb 15 December 1960 vol 632 cc590-1
34. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on the outcome of his talks with the National Farmers' Union on a long-term policy for agriculture.

Mr. Soames

I hope that a White Paper reporting the outcome of these talks will be published next Monday.

Mr. de Freitas

Is the Minister aware that National Farmers' Union branches in the country have information on this which is denied to Members of this House? Surely it is quite wrong that members of the National Farmers' Union should have information which is denied to Members of Parliament?

Mr. Soames

It is not a question of information being denied. These were talks between the Government and the union and those talks would not have been realistic had they been between one member of the union and the Government. The dissemination of information has been to a minimum extent and I think it praiseworthy how little has leaked out.

Mr. Peart

Is the Minister able to say that in the White Paper he will also cover talks with the N.F.U. over our policy towards the Common Market?

Mr. Soames

That was one of the topics which was discussed with the union, and what was discussed will be the subject of the White Paper.

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