Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that there was more home production this year, and therefore we needed imports less? Apart from that, does not he think it is time that his right hon. Friend and he had a fresh look at agricultural policy, instead of coming to the House with the negative and complacent attitude which they have produced up to now?
I was interested to see the hon. Gentleman reading that supplementary question. Let me say in reply that our home crop is up by 400,000 tons. The hon. Gentleman will remember that at the last Annual Price Review we put the guaranteed price up by 10s. a ton. The farmer's protection is the minimum import price, and let the hon. Gentleman remember that even the E.E.C. took steps not to impair that.
Will my hon. Friend bear in mind, in regard to all his import policy, that he is serving the Ministry of food as well as agriculture, and will he bear in mind, too, the cost to housewives as well as the interests of farmers?
I have said this before in the House, that what we have to endeavour to do is to be fair to our home producers, and at the same time take steps to protect the housewife who is the purchaser of all these goods.
I am not arguing against that. What I said in reply to my hon. Friend was that when prices are being fixed it is the duty of this Ministry, whichever Government are in power, to look after the interests of both the producer and the consumer.