HC Deb 19 January 1971 vol 809 cc703-4
13. Mr. Farr

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will seek to refer to the Monopolies Commission the action of those tractor manufacturers who have declined to sell their tractors without a fitted safety cab.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

While I do not exclude this possibility, I prefer immediately to follow the course I set out in my speech in the debate on the Motion for the Adjournment on 13th January.—[Vol. 809, c. 225–30.]

Mr. Farr

I thank my hon. Friend for that Answer. I am grateful that he realises how repugnant is the attitude which certain tractor cab manufacturers and tractor manufacturers have taken. Has he had any success yet in his approach to those manufacturers?

Mr. Stodart

I am very anxious to get a solution to the matter as quickly as possible. Although my hon. Friend's suggestion is not impossible, it would mean a fairly slow procedure. It would be much quicker and more certain if the manufacturers co-operated with us. They have been invited to see me next week.

Mr. Buchan

How can the Minister say that he is considering the Monopolies Commission step as a possibility when in his White Paper issued yesterday he says that he will leave advice to farmers on their choice of machinery entirely to commercial sources? The two things are contradictory. Should not the hon. Gentleman rescind yesterday's White Paper?

Mr. Stodart

There is any amount of competition between the various tractor manufacturers for the sale of their vehicles. This is quite a different matter.