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Seed Import Board

Volume 436: debated on Monday 28 April 1947

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62.

asked the Minister of Agriculture from what date the Seed Import Board will cease to function, in view of the fact that the Board was formed purely for wartime activities, and of the wide dissatisfaction in the seed trade against the continued operation of the Board in its present form, and with its present system of preference and control; and if he is aware that adequate facilities already exist in his Department and the Board of Trade for the control of seed purchases abroad in countries with hard currencies, and their allocation to the seed trade in this country, without the necessity for the continuation of the Seed Import Board.

It is not yet practicable to withdraw the restrictions on the importation of agricultural and vegetable seeds, and for the present I think it is desirable to retain the machinery of the Seeds Import Board, who, I am satisfied, are carrying out their difficult duties very efficiently.

Is not the Minister aware that the Seed Import Board failed dismally to produce in this country any runner bean seeds this year; and that if he had extended the powers of the purchase of seeds abroad to normal distributing houses, such a situation would have been avoided?

I am not aware of any complete failure on the part of the Seed Import Board.