HC Deb 25 May 1966 vol 729 c457
24. Mr. Ian Gilmour

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the rate of the introduction of centralised payments by the Egg Marketing Board; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hoy

This is a matter for the Board. Ministers cannot intervene in the Board's administrative arrangements save in the special circumstances provided for in the Agricultural Marketing Act, 1958. A complaint about the operation of the centralised payments system generally has been referred by Ministers to the Committee of Investigation under Section 19 of the Act.

Mr. Gilmour

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that until they go over to centralised payments, producers are making an interest-free loan of 10s. a case to the Board and that at the present rate of striking this will mean some producers will be making a loan of something like £6,000, which they cannot afford? What is the Minister going to Flo about this?

Mr. Hoy

The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that no Government has a right to interfere with the working of the Board except under these special circumstances. The Board has announced that the differential payment of 4d. a dozen will be accumulated and paid to each producer when he is transferred to the central payments system.