HC Deb 21 July 1970 vol 804 cc227-8
25. Mr. John Wells

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will have early talks with the National Farmers' Unions about further improving the competitive position of British horticulture.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Anthony Stodart)

My right hon. Friend will shortly be having a general discussion about horticulture with the Chairman of the Central Horticultural Committee and other representatives of the National Farmers' Union.

Mr. Wells

Can my hon. Friend give us an assurance that British horticultural interests will be safeguarded while the European Common Market negotiations proceed?

Mr. Stodart

That is a slightly wider question, but the answer must, in the long run, lie in seeing that the industry is strong enough to meet its competitors with confidence, and the various grants for improvements which have been made towards efficiency are going in the direction to make it so.

Mr. Dalyell

How long is the long run about which the hon. Gentleman spoke?

Mr. Stodart

That is a matter for negotiation.

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