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Ministry Of Food (Future)

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 7 April 1954

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asked the Prime Minister whether, in considering the rearrangements of the functions of the Ministry of Food, steps will be taken to ensure that the responsibilities to the consumer of foodstuffs and those to the producers of foodstuffs will not be vested in the same Ministry.

I have been asked to reply.

I can assure my hon. Friend that all aspects of this matter are being carefully considered.

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that where there is a conflict between consumer and producer, it is desirable that that conflict should be resolved by separate Departments rather than by the same Department?

On the question of producers of foodstuffs, the right hon. Gentleman will be aware that the Government give official recognition to the Farmers' Union. What recognition do they intend to give to the new "splinter" Farmers' Union, which is being organised by the "Daily Express"?

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Government are now having second thoughts on this matter and may decide not to abolish the Ministry of Food as a result of their consideration of all the aspects to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred?

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider transferring to the Board of Trade most of those functions that affect consumers, and see to it that they are not handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture?