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Horticulture (Ministerial Responsibility)

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1949

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asked the Prime Minister if he will make arrangements to enable the pre-war practice to be resumed whereby the Minister of Agriculture assumed responsibility for the production and distribution of all horticultural products and the correlation of imports of horticultural produce with homegrown foodstuffs by arrangement with the Board of Trade.

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister thinks that the hon. Member is under some misapprehension about the extent of the pre-war responsibilities of the Minister of Agriculture, and, in any event, he sees no reason to alter the present arrangements.

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that most of the difficulties that have been created are felt by the horticultural producers to be due to the split responsibility of the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Food; and would it not be desirable that the Prime Minister should impose a responsibility for horticulture on one Minister, and particularly one who has the full confidence of the horticultural industry?

I do not think that my right hon. Friend would agree with the implication in the hon. Member's question.