Prices

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture. – in the House of Commons on 26th February 1942.

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Mr. De la Bère:

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in connection with the recent announcement on the adjustment of farm prices and, in view of the substantial time lag which has taken place, he will consider making the increased cattle prices retrospective to 1st January, 1942.

Mr. Hudson:

No, Sir. My hon. Friend's proposal would not be justified, and would, in any case, be administratively impracticable.

Mr. De la Bère:

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the time lag would not have occurred if it had not been for wrangling by the Treasury, and that that has caused unnecessary worry, delay and loss at a time when shipping space is so valuable? Why does the Treasury go on in this way?

Mr. De la Bère:

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the inadequate increases in wheat and oats which have been recently announced in connection with the increased farm prices, he will consider amending the schedule so as to give a more reasonable return to the home growers?

Mr. Hudson:

No, Sir. The prices for wheat and oats of the 1942 crop were fixed after a full examination of all relevant considerations.

Mr. De la Bère:

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in spite of these developments, there are many producers who cannot produce at these prices? I am sorry to have to say it, but the question will have to be gone into further.

Mr. De la Bère:

asked the Minister of Agriculture the total cost to the Government, for a full 12 months, of the increase in farm prices recently announced?

Mr. Hudson:

The cost to the Government of the increases in farm prices recently announced depends upon a number of factors the full effect of which cannot be determined with accuracy at the present time.

Mr. De la Bère:

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is food we want, not paper?

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Were the representatives of the horticulturists asked to take part in these deliberations and to assist in reaching final conclusions about minimum prices?

Mr. Hudson:

The prices of vegetables are not, generally speaking, controlled. Therefore, I did not ask the horticulturists.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Are there likely to be any negotiations with them about the spring crops?

Mr. De la Dère:

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these negotiations are farcical?