Dumping of German Wheat.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 30th October 1929.

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Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

The hon. Member said that it would be within the power of such a board to prohibit as they thought fit imports of food from any part of the world. We have always been twitted by hon. Members of the Liberal party and by hon. Members opposite for standing for a policy of extreme protection—which I do not support—under which food will cost more. If food is to cost more under this policy then it surely will cost more under a policy of total prohibition; that is if some board sees fit to impose it on wheat coming into this country from any particular area. The interest of this Debate is that the Socialist Government during the election told us that they had various remedies for various evils. There is nothing more dangerous or foolish than for a politician to prophesy that if he gets in he will do certain things. These birds are coming home to roost. Agriculture has far too long been the play-thing of politics, to the detriment of the industry, and this is an opportunity, when parties are more or less equal in numbers, of getting some form of general policy. Let us all work for it. If we do that it means that we shall all have to give up some of our pre-War ideas, and it is somewhat unfortunate that this dreadful old business of protection should come from the Liberal Benches.

The hon. Member for East Leicester was correct when he said that a new situation has arisen, and that the old remedies will not work. We have to think of new remedies. That is the reason why we who are now in opposition ask the Government to disclose their policy. It may be true, as the Parliamentary Secretary has said, that this is the second day of the Session, but was the Minister of Agriculture appointed only yesterday? There has been a recess of four months during which all these schemes were to be worked out, and whilst it is unfair for the Opposition to expect the Government to produce any particular scheme on a particular day I think we should have had a better excuse than we have had from the Front Bench. We all agree that agriculture is suffering, and we are all anxious to find a cure.