HC Deb 08 February 1972 vol 830 c1128
22. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many letters he has received concerning the future work of the Milk Marketing Board following Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community; and what reply he has given.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

My right hon. Friend and I have received 15 during the 12 months ended 31st January, 1972, and we have replied that we expect the essential functions of the Milk Marketing Board to continue.

Mr. Pardoe

Will the Minister beat in mind that, although I welcome his conversion to my view of the European cause, his right hon. Friend gave a categorical assurance on 21st September in Okehampton, in Devon, that the Milk Marketing Board would survive our entry into the E.E.C., but that in the middle of last month the Chairman of the Milk Marketing Board said to the Devon branch of the National Farmers' Union that it would be necessary for the farmers of Devon to keep a very vigilant watch on the Government's attitude towards the maintenance of the Milk Marketing Board?

Mr. Stodart

We have never hesitated to say that there might be a difference in one or two of their functions. One is the administering of the guarantee. But I am certain that the hon. Gentleman must have been encouraged by the remarks made at Inverness last week by DT. Mansholt on the subject of marketing boards.