§ 13. Mr. Grant-Ferris
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware that some factories manufacturing Cheshire cheese with considerable capital outlay and goodwill value, and earning substantial profits, were closed by his Department in 1943 for the easier control and distribution of milk in war-time, and the benefit of milk contracts transferred to larger firms, and that a promise was made by his Department by letter dated 17th March, 1944, that a scheme providing equitable compensation would be introduced and continue so long as control lasted; and what steps he now proposes to take to do justice in this matter.
§ Mr. H. Nicholls
The letter of 17th March, 1944, announced the creation of a compensation fund under a trust deed to be administered by three independent trustees with an advisory council representative of the depot proprietors. Under this deed, to which they all subscribed, depot proprietors received compensation from or contributed to the fund according to whether they had gained or lost business as a result of the necessary rationalisation of milk supplies. All depot proprietors were treated strictly in accordance with the terms of the trust deed and following the termination of the 813 arrangements all proprietors of the closed-down factories have been offered milk by the Milk Marketing Board to enable them to resume their activities.
§ Mr. Grant-Ferris
Does not my hon. Friend realise that these people, who are constituents of mine, are labouring under a severe sense of injustice and feel that they are entitled to better treatment from the Conservative Party than they are getting?
§ Mr. Nicholls
My right hon. Friend is aware that my hon. Fpiend's constituents are not happy about this matter, but we have looked into it very carefully. My hon. Friend had an interview with my right hon. Friend, at which the matter was very carefully investigated. We can only assure him again that the terms of the trust deed have been scrupulously carried out and that there does not appear to be any ground for his constituents to be so dissatisfied.