The object of the Amendments is to meet a problem which would arise under the Bill as it stands when grain is dried and stored in bulk before sale. Under the Bill, bonuses under Clause 2 or Clause 3 schemes must be paid to the grower of the cereals in respect of which payment is made, or to the person to whom the interest of the grower in that payment has passed. The House will appreciate that when grain has been bulked with the grain of other growers before sale it can no longer be identified as the grain of the particular grower. Under the Bill as it stands the Authority would find itself in all probability unable to pay a bonus to a grower whose grain had been bulked in this way before sale.
The point is important in relation to groups or co-operatives which have provided bulk drying storage facilities for their members. I am sure that the House will agree that the provision of facilities of this kind is a development which we would all wish to see encouraged. It may be of assistance if I explain how the point is covered under the cereals deficiency payments scheme. I will take wheat as an example. When a grower delivers a quantity of wheat to a bulk drying and storage plant approved by the Departments, he receives in exchange a silo warrant which entitles him to a corresponding quantity of wheat from the silo. When he wishes to sell any part of this silo wheat entitlement he instructs the silo operator accordingly. The latter releases the appropriate quantity of wheat from the silo to the purchaser and sends a note of confirmation to the seller. This is used as the basis of the seller's claim for deficiency payment.
I am sure that it will be agreed that where a grower is entitled to a deficiency payment under the cereal deficiency payments scheme he should be equally entitled to receive a bonus payment from the Authority if in other respects he satisfies the requirements of its schemes. The Bill covers the position in the great majority of cases, since these are cases where the grain which is sold preserves its separate identity as grain grown by a particular grower until the transaction is complete. But, as I have explained, the position of grain which is bulked before sale is not covered.
The Amendments meet the point by providing that the bonus payments are to be made to the grower who makes the forward contract under a Clause 2 scheme or who delivers the cereals in question under a Clause 3 scheme. This would cover the position both of a grower whose grain retains its separate identity until the transaction is completed and of the grower whose grain is dried or stored in bulk before sale.
I hope that I can say that this meets the wishes of all the people concerned, and that the Amendments will commend themselves to the House.
This is a new point which was not brought out in detail in Committee, although we ran round the question of bulking and drying grain. I accept that it is important that the grain which loses its identity because it goes to the grain store should not lose thereby any bonus payments or any other money from the Authority. The only point which I query is the wording of the second Amendment.
It is a question whether that wording covers what the Parliamentary Secretary wants and what, I am sure, the entire House wants. Where a forward contract has been made by the grower we must be clear at what point he uses the certificate or warrant which he will obtain from the grain silo operator to claim his bonus. If it is on the delivery of the cereal in question, then delivery at what point? Is it delivery to the silo or delivery to the seller? It is only a small point of drafting, but it is one on which we want to be quite clear.
I am certain that my hon. Friends will be able to accept the principle of the Amendments, but we should like to be assured that the wording of the second Amendment carries out what the Parliamentary Secretary has said and that if a grower makes his contract after the grain has been bulked he will not be deprived at that stage of the bonus payments which otherwise would be due to him.
I think that we have covered that point. The wording of the Amendment preserves the right to obtain the bonus and, off the cuff, I would say that in the normal way that would be when the grain is sold. In other words, it will be when the grain is taken from the silo and delivered to the seller.