§ Lords Amendments considered.
§ Clause 2.—(SUPPLEMENTAL PROVISIONS AS TO SCHEMES.)
Lords Amendment: In page 3, line 19, at end insert:
(3A) Where any such condition as to capacity is framed by reference to land occupied for the purposes of a horticultural production business, the scheme may provide that if there is any land so occupied which is not eligible to be taken into account in ascertaining whether the condition is satisfied,—
§ 3.33 p.m.
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. J. B. Godber)
I beg to move the Amendment in page 3, line 19.
This is a very complicated Amendment at first glance, but I hope to show that it is not quite so complex as it appears. We found it necessary to introduce this in another place to overcome a technical difficulty that had come to light during the preparation of the draft of the statutory scheme which, incidentally, I hope that we shall be able shortly to lay before the House. The proposals set out in the White Paper provided that the eligibility of a horticultural production business for a grant under the scheme should be assessed by reference to the area of land used in the course of business for the intensive production of horticultural crops during a period of two years prior to the application.
Our intention has always been, and it was agreed with the farmers' unions, that in deciding whether a proposal was admissible for grant we should consider whether its scope and capacity was appropriate in relation to the "eligible" land of the horticultural production business 34 concerned. We discovered, however, that under the Bill as drafted there was no power to provide for this in the statutory scheme. This Amendment, therefore, is necessary to put beyond doubt our ability to give effect to these arrangements.
§ Mr. Frederick Peart (Workington)
The Joint Parliamentary Secretary said that this is a complicated matter. We agree with him, we understand why the Government are doing this, and we certainly welcome it. As the hon. Gentleman has rightly said, the proposals set out in the White Paper provide that the eligibility of a horticultural production business for grant under the scheme should be assessed by reference to the area of land used in the course of business for production of horticultural crops during the period of two years prior to the application. We accept this in principle. We believe that it will improve the Bill. We think that it will provide more flexibility. We welcome the fact that the Government have had second thoughts on the matter.
§ Question, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment, put and agreed to.—[Special Entry.]
§ Clause 9.—(THE HORTICULTURAL MARKETING COUNCIL.)
§ Lords Amendment: In page 6, line 25, leave out from "section" to end of line 27.
§ Sir James Duncan (South Angus)
On a point of order. That is the second time that my hon. Friend has moved an Amendment without saying, "I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment".
§ Mr. Godber
I apologise to you, Mr. Speaker, to my hon. Friend, to hon. Members opposite and, indeed, to anyone who happened to be listening, for that gross omission.
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
I wonder, Mr. Speaker, whether we might consider with this Amendment the 35 next Lords Amendment, in page 8, line 28, at the end to insert:and, subject to the consent of the Ministers, shall include any other functions which the Council may determine to be expedient to be exercised for the purpose specified in subsection (1) of the foregoing section".which, I think, goes with it.
§ Mr. Speaker
Yes. With the leave of the House, they can be considered together, but the hon. Member will ask for agreement on them separately.
§ Mr. Godber
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
These two Amendments fulfil an assurance which my right hon. Friend gave during the Recommittal stage of the Bill that he would see that the proviso to Clause 10, which prohibits the Council from undertaking any trading activities except by way of experiment or demonstration, applied to any functions, additional to those specified in Clause 10, which the Council might undertake with the consent of the Ministers.
As we have given at length on previous occasions the various reasons why we on this side think that it would be quite wrong for the Council to be enabled to undertake trading activities, I do not think that there is any need for me to go over that ground again. As I think it was made clear during the Recommittal stage, it has always been our intention that the proviso to Clause 10 should apply to all the functions of the Council, and these two Amendments are intended to put the matter beyond all doubt.
I know that hon. Members opposite would like to see the Council given trading powers. Their Amendments designed to give the Council these powers were defeated upstairs and by the enthusiasm with which they sought to read into the Amendments that were made before it was clear that they were
§ very anxious that the Council should have trading powers. I am sorry this Amendment discourages them, but I am sure that we have made our reasons clear, and I think that there is no need to go over that matter again.
§ Mr. Frederick Willey (Sunderland, North)
I shall have nothing to say about the second Amendment if I fail to persuade the Parliamentary Secretary by what I say about the first. We should accept the second Amendment as an improvement to the Bill.
We are, howerver, sorely disappointed about the first Amendment, which is to remove from the Bill some very desirable words which were inserted into the Bill by the Minister on Report. The least we can say is that it is gross incompetence for the Minister himself to put forward an Amendment, to resist the appeals that were made to him from his own benches, and then, within a week or two, to take out the words in another place.
When we discussed the Bill we suggested that we should extend the powers of the Horticultural Marketing Council. We were anxious that the Council should have all the powers that it felt necessary to protect the producer. We put forward this viewpoint unsuccessfully in Committee. The Minister himself produced an Amendment, as his hon. Friend has said, which we regarded as satisfactory. Now the Minister has retreated somewhat from that satisfactory assurance. I do not wish to traverse the arguments again, but I must ask my hon. and right hon. Friends to divide against the Amendment, because we much prefer the words which the Minister originally introduced.
§ Question put: —
§ The House divided: Ayes 155, Noes 110.37
|Division No. 56.]||AYES||[3.41 p.m.|
|Allason, James||Bourne-Arton, A.||Cary, Sir Robert|
|Arbuthnot, John||Bowen, Roderlc (Cardigan)||Channon, H. P. G.|
|Ashton, Sir Hubert||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John||Chataway, Christopher|
|Balniel, Lord||Boyle, Sir Edward||Chichester-Clark, R.|
|Barber, Anthony||Brooman, White, R.||Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)|
|Batsford, Brian||Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Cordeaux, Lt-Col. J. K.|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Bryan, Paul||cordle, John|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Billiard, Denys||Corfield, F. V.|
|Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald (Toxteth)||Butcher, Sir Herbert||Costain, A. P.|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Butler, Rt.Hn.R.A.(Saffron walden)||Coulson, J. M.|
|Bingham, R. M.||Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)||Courtney, Cdr. Anthony|
|Bishop, F. P.||Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)|
|Bottom, Clive||Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Crowder, F. P.|
|Cunningham, Knox||Jackson, John||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Curran, Charles||James, David||Robertson, Sir David|
|Davies,Rt.Hn.Clement(Montgomery)||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Roots, William|
|Deedes, W. F.||Jennings, J. C.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)|
|Eden, John||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Russell, Ronald|
|Emery, Peter||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Sharples, Richard|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Leavey, J. A.||Simon, Sir Jocelyn|
|Farr, John||Leburn, Gillmour||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fell, Anthony||Lindsay, Martin||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Litchfield, Capt. John||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Forrest, George||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Button)||MacArthur, Ian||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Gammans, Lady||McLaren, Martin||Stodart, J. A.|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)||Maddan, Martin||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Glyn, Col. Richard H. (Dorset, N.)||Maitland, Cdr. J. W.||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Marten, Nell||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Mathew, Robert (Honiton)||Turner, Colin|
|Grimston, Sir Robert||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Mills, Stratton||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Montgomery, Fergus||Ward, Rt. Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Harvie Anderson, Miss||Morgan, William||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Heath, Ht. Hon. Edward||Nabarro, Gerald||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Neave, Airey||Watts, James|
|Hiley, Joseph||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Noble, Michael||Whltelaw, William|
|Holland, Philip||Orr-Ewing, C. Ian||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, 8.)|
|Holt, Arthur||Percival, Ian||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Hopkins, Alan||Peyton, John||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Pott, Percivall||Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard|
|Hughes-Young, Michael||Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Hulbert, Sir Norman||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Hurd, Sir Anthony||Rawlinson, Peter||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||Mr. Legh and Mr. J. E. B. Hill.|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Ainsley, William||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Prentice, R. E.|
|Albu, Austen||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Randall, Harry|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Hayman, F. H.||Redhead, E. C.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Healey, Denis||Reid, William|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||Henderson,Rt.Hn.Arthur(RwlyRegis)||Robens, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Beaney, Alan||Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Holman, Percy||Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)|
|Benson, Sir George||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Ross, William|
|Blackburn, F.||Hunter, A. E.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Blyton, William||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S.W.)||Janner, Barnett||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Bowles, Frank||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Boyden, James||Jeger, George||Small, William|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Stross,Dr.Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent.C.)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Summerskill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Edith|
|Callaghan, James||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Sylvester, George|
|Carmichael, James||King, Dr. Horaoe||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Chetwynd, George||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Colllck, Percy||Lipton, Marcus||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Loughlin, Charles||Warbey, William|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Davies, Ifor (Cower)||MacColl, James||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Deer, George||Mackie, John||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||McLeavy, Frank||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Dodds, Norman||Mallalleu, J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)||Whitlock, William|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Willey, Frederick|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Marsh, Richard||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Fletcher, Eric||Mason, Roy||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Foot, Dingle||Mendelson, J. J.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Mitchenson, G. R.||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd||Monslow, Walter||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Ginsburg, David||Oram, A. E.|
|Cordon walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Pavitt, Laurence||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gourlay, Harry||Peart, Frederick||Mr. Sydney Irving and|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Pentland, Norman||Mr. Lawson.|
§ [Special Entry.]
§ Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.—[One with Special Entry.]39
§ Clause 12.—(OFFENCES IN RELATION TO SCHEMES.)
Lords Amendment: In page 10, line 23, leave out "one hundred pounds" and insert:
fifty pounds in the case of a first offence or one hundred pounds in the case of a second or subsequent offence.
§ Mr. Godber
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
In Committee in another place, the view was expressed by several noble Lords that the maximum penalty for failing to comply with the requirement to register, keep records or furnish information was too severe for a first offence. On consideration, the Government agreed with that point of view and therefore we accepted the Amendment.
§ Mr. Willey
We welcome the Amendment. I believe that it was moved in another place by Lord Stonham, whom we remember with affection as Mr. Victor Collins. This is another example of an occasion where a Bill has been improved by suggestions made by the Opposition. The Bill is considerably improved and I hope that it will help horticulturists, as both sides of the House intended that it should do.
§ Question put and agreed to.