HC Deb 05 February 1962 vol 653 cc12-3
14. Mr. Darling

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what new proposals, he has discussed with the Tomato and Cucumber Marketing Board for the organised marketing of tomatoes and cucumbers; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames

None, Sir. I understand that at a recent meeting of the Board it was decided that all elected members should offer their resignations to their sponsoring bodies; to the extent that it is necessary new elections will follow. The Board should then command the confidence of producers and it seems likely that they will again seek within the next two years, additional powers at present in reserve. This is, of course, a matter for them and for decision by the growers generally.

Mr. Darling

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that in all these statutory marketing organisations there needs to be some strong central organisation to which the board can attach itself—dairies in the case of milk, packing stations in the case of eggs, and so on—but that in the case of fruit and vegetables there is no central organisation with which the board can work? Do I understand from the Minister's answer that the reconstituted Tomato and Cucumber Marketing Board will seek commercial marketing powers which it has not yet operated?

Mr. Soames

I cannot tell—this is for the Board to decide what it will seek, and it is for the producers to decide what they will give it, but, as I understand it, this is what many of those who will be standing for election to the Board in the future will be seeking.

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