HC Deb 02 June 1960 vol 624 cc1630-1
40. Sir J. Duncan

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement giving the results of his official conversation with the President of the National Farmers' Union on 25th May.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I have been asked to reply.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to Questions on this matter on 31st May.

Sir J. Duncan

I have read that Answer. Will not my right hon. Friend explain that the inquiries by the agricultural Ministers referred to in that Answer will go wider than the purely agricultural Ministries and will deal with imports and exports of agricultural produce? Will he also explain the position regarding Scotland and Northern Ireland, both in so far as Ministerial responsibility is concerned, and in regard to the National Farmers' Unions?

Mr. Butler

In answer to the latter part of my hon. Friend's question. I understand that Mr. Woolley came with the full approval of the unions in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A meeting has already taken place between Mr. Woolley and the Minister of Agriculture, I understand, also with the approval of the unions concerned. It is important that my right hon. Friend concerned, the Secretary of State for Scotland, and myself in my relationship with Northern Ireland, should be in touch with these talks, and we propose to be so.

In regard to the first part of my hon. Friend's question, Mr. Woolley put forward certain subjects which he wishes to have discussed, and these have been accepted. I agree that it is important that the talks should be as wide as possible.

Mr. Willey

While we welcome the Prime Minister's recognition of the mistake in the White Paper on the Price Review, may I ask whether we shall have another White Paper on the Government's new agricultural policy?

Mr. Butler

The Government's agricultural policy is perpetually unfolding in a more and more satisfactory light. I cannot promise an extra White Paper, nor can I accept the insinuation in the hon. Gentleman's question.

Mr. Hayman

Did the Prime Minister take into account the telegram sent to the Minister of Agriculture by the Cornish branch of the National Farmers' Union saying that it had lost confidence in him and his policy, and whether the Prime Minister also took into account and discussed with Mr. Woolley the fact that Lord Netherthorpe voted with the Opposition in a Division in another place?

Mr. Butler

We do follow what goes on in another place, and I believe that to be correct. I am not absolutely certain whether the message to which the hon. Gentleman refers was received, but after I have made inquiries I will inform the hon. Member.