Mr. De la Bère:
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that many agricultural products, including livestock, have been controlled at prices below the cost of production, he would confer with the Minister of Food with a view to preparing a comprehensive schedule of costs of production for the agricultural industry, with a view to these costs, plus an agreed reasonable percentage, being substituted for the existing controlled prices, since at the present time it is impossible for the farmer to obtain a fair return for his products?
I cannot accept my hon. Friend's statements that the prices of many agricultural products have been controlled at levels below the cost of production or that farmers are not receiving fair returns for their produce; and I would remind him of the undertaking already given that future prices will take account of increases in production costs. In the circumstances I do not propose to adopt his suggestion.