I regret that I have nothing to add at the moment to the reply given to Questions by my hon. and gallant Friends the Members for Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser) and Sudbury (Colonel Burton) on 12th February, but I hope to be able to make an announcement during the course of the next few days.
I cannot accept the suggestion that the delay has been wholly unnecessary. I have often told hon. Members that there is a singular lack of statistics for the agricultural industry, and as a result it is possible to hold perfectly honest and sincere opinions about costings which differ widely from each other, and the task of reconciling these calls for patience and statesmanship and requires time. That is what we are engaged upon at the present time.
Owing to the weather during the last six weeks, there has been a complete hold-up of agricultural operations, and therefore the delay, though regrettable, has not in fact done any harm.