§ 37. Sir R. Nugent
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now make a 'progress report on the work of his departmental committee considering horticultural co-operative marketing, stating in particular from what persons or bodies at home and overseas the committee has taken evidence; and when he expects to receive their final report.
§ Mr. Hare
The Working Party has met on nine occasions. It has heard140W oral evidence from individual experts, the Agricultural Central Co-operative Association, the National Farmers' Union, the Central Packhouse Association, and representatives of individual co-operative societies associated with these organisations. Written evidence has also 'been received or is awaited from various bodies and individuals in this country and overseas. The Joint Parliamentary Secretary and members of the Working Party are visiting co-operatives in this country and on the Continent. The Report may be expected in the latter part of this year.
§ 38. Mr. Godman Irvine
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will now widen the terms of reference announced by him on 24th February last for his departmental committee considering horticultural cooperative marketing, so as to include agriculture; or, in the alternative, whether he will set up a further departmental committee for this purpose.
§ Mr. Hare
It would not be practicable at this stage to extend the Working Party's membership and terms of reference to cover agriculture. There are considerable differences between cooperative marketing in agriculture and 'horticulture, and on the agricultural side no comparable problem of the relationship of societies to their members.