§ 10. Mr. Peter Walker
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has now decided to 1057 accept all or some of the recommendations of the Verdon Smith Report.
§ Mr. Walker
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that when he asked my right hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Soames) a similar Question on 13th July and received a similar Answer he accused my right hon. Friend of being guilty of procrastination and flippancy? Does he now consider that he himself is also guilty of procrastination and flippancy?
§ Mr. Peart
The right hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Soames) had a much longer period in which to make a decision than I have had. I will make a decision. Indeed, I have already in my mind made a decision. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I have come to certain conclusions, but before I actually announce a major decision I will consult all the interests concerned.
§ Mr. Prior
Is not this another case of the right hon. Gentleman having made a lot of wild, inaccurate and entirely irrelevant statements in the course of the election and now having to eat his words? Will he not come to the conclusion that this is a very complex subject and that he had better give it more thought in case he gives the wrong answer?
§ Mr. Peart
I am surprised at the hon. Member being so naive. As he knows full well, because he was with me at the time on a television programme, I declared during the last election that I believed in the orderly marketing of meat. I said then that this was a complex matter and that we would consult the interests concerned. We have done that and when I finally come before the House with an announcement we shall have consulted them.
§ Mr. Soames
The right hon. Gentleman has made an important statement. He has said that he has reached conclusions in his own mind on the Verdon Smith Report and, in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior), that he has carried out his consultations. Are we to understand that he has carried out consultations and reached decisions? 1058 If so, when will he bring us into his confidence and tell us what the decisions are?