HC Deb 20 May 1941 vol 371 cc1408-9W
Colonel Carver

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that under Section 3 of the Agricultural (Miscellaneous War Provisions) Act, 1940, the staff of the Wheat Commission are now to be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament, they have the status of temporary civil servants and are therefore eligible for membership of Civil Service staff associations?

Mr. Hudson

The administrative expenses of the Wheat Commission are still, in accordance with Section 3 (2) of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous War Provisions) Act, 1940, payable by registered growers. As a temporary measure, whilst deficiency payments are in abeyance, the Commission's expenses are being met by advances from the Exchequer, but the staff continue to be paid from the Wheat Fund. The question raised by my hon. and gallant Friend does not, therefore, arise.

Brigadier-General Clifton Brown

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether, in view of the fact that there are no longer deficiency payments to be met by the Wheat Fund with wheat at its present fixed prices, it is still necessary to set aside £30,000 for administrative expenses; and what staff are now employed to administer it?

Mr. Hudson

I have been asked to reply. Funds are still required by the Wheat Commission partly to discharge wheat deficiency payments and other liabilities remaining over from previous cereal years and partly to meet the net administrative expenses of the Commission, including the sums required to make up the balance of civil pay and pension contributions to members of the Commission's staff serving with H.M. Armed Forces. A small nucleus of staff is retained, principally on establishment and financial work, which is essential for the preservation of the Commission's organisasion. At the present time, ten persons are so employed full time and two part time; the numbers are being reduced as the volume of work declines.