HC Deb 14 June 1971 vol 819 cc5-6
3. Sir R. Turton

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will introduce legislation to amend the Restrictive Practices Acts, 1956 and 1968, so as to permit agricultural organisations to give advice and to make recommendations regarding the marketing of livestock and to recommend the prices to be paid for agricultural machinery.

The Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. David Price)

The National Farmers' Union has recently sent my right hon. Friend a memorandum calling for changes in the legislation in its application to agriculture. We are giving careful consideration to the matter.

Sir R. Turton

Is my hon. Friend aware that, since the finding of the Restrictive Practices Court, the National Farmers' Union is debarred from supporting the Government's agricultural policy to ensure market stability and that, unless he takes action, it will mean also that the small producer is at the mercy of the big buyer, in contradistinction to what is happening in countries overseas with which we are in competition?

Mr. Price

My right hon. Friend will understand that while we are studying the matter it would not be proper for me to comment. However, I am sure that it will be regarded as wholly proper if I congratulate him, on behalf of the whole House, on his recent honour.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.