HC Deb 19 June 1963 vol 679 cc435-6
16. Mr. Godman Irvine

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the decision of Her Majesty's Government to give legislative effect to the recommendations of the Committee on Transaction in Seeds, and of the measure of agreement which exists within the industry on the proposals, he will introduce this Bill in the next Session of Parliament.

Mr. Soames

The Government realise the importance of legislation on this subject and intend to introduce a Bill as soon as Parliamentary time permits. But I cannot yet say whether it will be possible to find a place for it in the legislature programme for next Session.

Mr. Irvine

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that one of the reasons why so many of the modern varieties of seeds and plants that are used in this country are imported from abroad is the protection which is given to breeders in other countries? Is it not urgent, therefore, that our breeders should be given the opportunity of competing with them on fair terms by having the same sort of protection in this country?

Mr. Soames

I cannot dissent from what my hon. Friend says. There is, of course, a wide measure of agreement for legislation among all concerned. I would not expect it to be controversial in principle. All I am saying at the moment is that we would like to proceed with it but that it is a question of finding Parliamentary time.