§ Mr. LUNN
asked the Minister of Food whether he has contemplated or is contemplating the establishment of councils of traders for each trade to advise him in matters concerning supplies and price movements; and, if so, what relations he contemplates such councils will have with the Consumers Council?
§ Mr. McCURDY
During the period of transition from the war period to more normal conditions of supply and trading the method of control by means of statutory maximum prices has ceased in some cases to be practicable and in others to be of advantage to the consumer. It has, therefore, been my policy to substitute for rigid statutory controls, wherever practicable, other and more elastic methods. With this object in view, Fair Trading Councils have already been set up in the fish and jam trades, while the formation of a Council for fruit and vegetables has been agreed and sanctioned. The members of these Councils are not nominated by the Ministry of Food, but by the various federations, associations, and unions covering the respective industries. Their establishment does not234W in any way affect the functions of the Consumers' Councils, which will continue to advise me from the special point of view of the consumer.
Mr. LUNN asked the Minister of Food if a Fair Trading Council for the jam industry has been formed; if so, will he give the membership and terms of reference of this council, giving the body or bodies which are represented on it; and whether these councils are purely advisory bodies or whether they have any administrative functions?
§ Mr. McCURDY
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The Council is a voluntary organisation of representatives of the various branches of the industry nominated by the respective associations, among which are
I am sending the hon. Member a full list of the members of the Council. The Council will advise me with regard to all subjects on which its advice is sought, and will further supply information as to supplies, cost of production and distribution, prices, and trade conditions generally. It will make recommendations on matters in which the action of my Department is considered desirable, and will endeavour as far as possible to moderate prices and profits by agreement. The functions of the Council are purely advisory in character.
- The Food Manufacturers' Federation.
- The Fruit Preservers' Association.
- The Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd.
- The Scottish Wholesale Provision Merchants' Association.
- The Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd.
- The Scottish Federation of Grocers and Provision Merchants' Association.
- The National Federation of Grocers' Associations.
- The Workers' Union.