HC Deb 05 February 1962 vol 653 cc3-4
3. Sir L. Ropner

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he proposes to accept the recommendations of the Thorold Committee on the remuneration of milk distributors in the United Kingdom.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Christopher Soames)

The Secretary of State for Scotland and I are at present studying the report and have asked the organisations representing those most likely to be affected by it, for their views on its recommendations. We do not propose to reach any decision until these have been received and considered. I should like to take this opportunity of thanking Sir Guy Thorold and the Members of his Committee for their valuable report.

Sir L. Ropner

Would I be right in saying that the implementation or otherwise of the recommendations of this Committee will depend to a large extent on the agricultural policy of the Common Market and whether we go into it or not?

Mr. Soames

This must depend on the process of negotiating which is in progress at the moment, but there are a number of aspects, apart from this, on which we are awaiting the comments of the industry concerned?

Mr. Peart

In view of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's supplementary question, will the Minister try to give the Government's views before any decision is reached about the Common Market? After all, this is an internal matter as well.

Mr. Soames

I am anxious to get on with this as soon as possible, and we have asked for the comments of the industry by the end of February. I gather that they might not all be in by then, but will be in by the end of March.