Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Part of Orders of the Day — Supply. – in the House of Commons on 7th June 1937.

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I hope the House will forgive me if I have not been able to answer all of the questions which have been put to me in this extremely interesting discussion, but no word that has been said will be lost, and I shall look into the various points which have been raised by hon. Members. I would merely close on a note that was struck by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall. He deprecated agricultural policies becoming a subject of controversy between the country and the town, and so do I, with all my heart. An agricultural policy, to be of real service, must be permanent. If the aid to agriculture depends upon a mere sectional conception of how the aid is to be applied, it is true that in times of political excitement you may have changes in the political superstructure which may alter the course of agriculture and inflict damage upon the industry. But I venture to say that the proposals which I have recently had the honour to announce to the House are of a permanent character. If disease can be eliminated from our herds, no change in political parties is ever going to restore it. If the lime and the slag are in the soil, and the fields are greener and more fertile in consequence, no General Election is going to take that benefit away from the farmer. Similarly, with the other proposals, I think I may claim for them that they have the merits of simplicity on the one hand and permanent and lasting benefit on the other.