asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction caused by the sale of guaranteed surplus machinery to machinery merchants and agents while public sales are held in order to dispose of the unguaranteed machinery; and whether he will make a statement as to the reasons for this.
Disposal of surplus agricultural machinery follows the general principle laid down in the White Paper on Plans for Disposal of Government Surplus Stores that unless there is good reason to the contrary goods should be distributed through those manufacturers or traders who would normally handle them. It is offered firstly to manufacturers and agricultural machinery dealers, but if not taken up by them it is sold by public auction. No guarantees are given by the Ministry, but the dealer undertakes to recondition the machinery that he buys and to give it a guarantee before selling it at a price fixed by the Ministry.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can give a comparative price list of surplus machinery sold by his Department to merchants at scale prices and of similar types of machinery sold at public auction.
Both the method of sale and the price received for surplus agricultural machinery depend so much on the type, the make and the model of the machinery and on its condition that it is not, practicable to draw up a comparative price list.