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Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Money

Volume 477: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1950

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Considered in Committee [ Progress, 30 th June].

[Major MILNER in the Chair]

Question again proposed,

That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of grants in respect of petrol-driven machines used in connection with agriculture and of contributions towards costs of providing fertilisers used for agricultural land, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament—
  • (a) of grants in respect of petrol-driven machines used for agricultural operations;
  • (b) of contributions towards costs of providing fertilisers used on land under grass or ploughed up from grass; and
  • (c) of any expenses of administration incurred by a Minister for the purposes of the said Act of the present Session or of any scheme made under that Act.
  • 12.15 a.m.

    Do I understand, Sir, that you are not calling the Amendment in my name, in paragraph (b), to leave out from "fertilisers" to the end of the paragraph?

    When the discussion on this Motion was interrupted by the clock last Friday, I was trying to make clear that the Minister of Agriculture did not appreciate the objection I was making to the terms of this Resolution. It is my contention that this Resolution is drawn too narrowly. Discussion in the Committee stage will be limited by the narrowness of the Resolution. It is not our objective to go back to the old system of the fertiliser subsidy, but we believe that the Government have taken a retrograde step by cutting the subsidy by £2,500,000 this year, and by £10 million in the following year.

    I suggest to the Government that we should be free on the Committee stage, to see how best we can allocate the £5,000,000 which the Government have granted instead of the £15,000,000 for fertilisers in the present year. Hon Members on this side may argue that it would be better for a directive to be given to those farming on marginal land rather than the specific cases which the Government mention in this Resolution, and I hope that an assurance will be given that, on the Committee stage a wide discussion on this subsidy will be allowed within the limits of the £5,000,000.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Resolution to be reported this day.