§ 28. Mr. de Freitas
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware of the concern felt by the National Farmers' Union and the National Union of Agricultural Workers 1249 at the decline of the proportion of the national income received by the agricultural community in the country generally and in Linconshire in particular; and what assurances he will give them in this matter.
§ Mr. Hare
I am aware of the views expressed about the general level of agricultural income, though it is not possible to make estimates for particular counties. But I must point out that the industry is in a healthy condition and its future is safeguarded by the long-term assurances of the Agriculture Act, 1957, and by the Government's determination to maintain a flourishing and prosperous industry.
§ Mr. de Freitas
Is the Secretary of State aware that that does not go down very well in Lincolnshire? Is he further aware that the last time a Conservative Minister of Agriculture visited Lincoln and talked to the N.F.U. he had to be rescued by the police after a resolution was carried that he should be lynched? If the Secretary of State is going to Lincoln soon, will he consult the Home Secretary before doing so?
§ Mr. Hare
I am very grateful for the hon. Gentleman's solicitude for me— although I would remind him that I am not a Secretary of State; I presume that he meant to refer to me as the Minister of Agriculture. It would be a pity for the hon. Member or me to exaggerate. I have no evidence that agriculture in Lincolnshire is less prosperous than it is elsewhere, and there are those who might say that Lincolnshire was better off than other counties.
§ Mr. Willey
Can the Minister tell the House of any county committee of the N.F.U. that has not demanded his resignation?