HL Deb 27 July 1965 vol 268 cc1163-4

2.50 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the Price Stability of Imported Products (Specified Commodities) (Amendment) Order 1965, which was laid before this House in draft on July 8, 1965, be approved. This introduces a relatively minor change of a technical nature in the minimum price arrangements which I trust will not long delay your Lordships. Under Section 1 of the Agriculture and Horticulture Act 1964, the appropriate Ministers may by order specify commodities and prescribe minimum price levels for them. These powers, which may be exercised in the interest of maintaining a stable market for agricultural or horticultural produce of a kind produced in the United Kingdom, were used to introduce the present minimum price arrangements for cereals. It is the purpose of the draft Order now before your Lordships to add one item to the list of specified cereals and related products so that a minimum import price level may be prescribed for it.

I should perhaps explain that in order to achieve the objective of the minimum import price arrangements it is necessary to cover, in addition to the main cereals, a number of important cereal products and by-products, in order to prevent them from being imported free from control in substitution for the basic cereals. For this reason, bran, sharps and other residues derived from the sifting, milling or working of cereals, other than of rice under Tariff Heading 23.02, were specified in the original Order, and a minimum import price level was prescribed for them. I understand that at that time it was intended that a minimum import price level should apply to all milling residues, whether in meal or compressed form. It has since been established that compressed milling residues should be regarded as preparations of animal feedingstuffs and that they are properly classified under Tariff Heading 23.07 and not under Tariff Heading 23.02, as had been assumed. They are therefore not covered by the existing minimum price arrangements.

Article 2 of the draft Order now before your Lordships amends the principal Order by adding milling residues in compressed forms to the Schedule in which are listed the specified cereals and cereal products and by-products. A further Order prescribing a minimum import price for this item will be laid before the House shortly after the present Order has been approved and made. The change has been discussed with representatives of the domestic interests concerned, and overseas suppliers to our market have also been consulted. I commend the Order to your Lordships for approval.

Moved, That the Draft Price Stability of Imported Products (Specified Commodities) (Amendment) Order 1965, laid before the House on 8th July, be approved.—(Lord Champion.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.