HC Deb 07 November 1921 vol 148 cc75-6W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the payment due to be made to farmers under the Corn Production (Repeal) Act in respect of their wheat and oats harvested in 1921 will fall very far short of what was due to them under the Agriculture Act owing to the unexpectedly rapid fall in prices to a level so far below the cost of production; and, in view of the fact that the bargain made by the Government with the National Farmers' Union has turned out to be a very bad one for the farmer, does the Government propose to take any steps to redress this grievance?


I am aware that the prices of British wheat and oats have fallen to a greater extent than was anticipated when the bargain with the National Farmers'. Union was made, but it is impossible to estimate the amounts which would have been payable to producers of wheat and oats this year had the Corn Production Acts not been repealed. Those amounts would have depended, not only on the average market prices over the seven months ending March next, but also on the amounts that would have been fixed by the Commissioners under the Agriculture Act as the minimum guaranteed prices for this year. In any case I am not prepared to recommend to the House that the amounts of £3 an acre for wheat and £4 an acre for oats laid down in the Corn Production Acts (Repeal) Act should be increased.