§ 2.49 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord St. Oswald.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The LORD MERTHYR in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1:
§ Price stability of imported products
§ 1.—(1) In the interest of maintaining in the United Kingdom a stable market for agricultural or horticultural produce of any description produced in the United Kingdom, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretaries of State respectively concerned with agriculture in Scotland and Northern Ireland, acting jointly may by order specify produce of that description or any of its related products or both as commodities in relation to which the powers conferred by subsection (2) below may be exercised; and for the purposes of this section "specified commodity" means any description of produce or related product in relation to which those powers are for the time being exercisable by virtue of such an order.
§ (2) In relation to any specified commodity the Ministers aforesaid may by order prescribe a minimum price level for imports into the United Kingdom; and with a view to maintaining the level so prescribed for any commodity or to allowing for the effect for that or other specified commodities of its maintenance, they may by order direct that on any specified commodity imported into the United Kingdom there shall be charged for the use of Her Majesty such levy as may be prescribed by or determined in accordance with the order.
LORD STONHAM moved, in subsection (1), to omit "or any of its related products or both". The noble Lord said: My Lords, beg to move Amendment No. 1 which stands in my name on the Order Paper, and I hope that it will meet with the convenience of the Committee if we take with it Amendment No. 2. With these two Amendments we seek to remove from the scope of the Bill products "related to"
agriculture and horticultural produce. As subsection (10) of Clause 1 makes clear, "related products" has the widest possible meaning. Produce is there defined as
anything (whether live or dead) produced in the course of agriculture":
and "related product" means—and I quote:
- "(a) any product of a description which is obtained from that produce or from any related product, with or without any process of manufacture, or is obtained by the use of that produce or by that of any related product as a material, component or ingredient; and
- (b) any substance or article of a like nature or use to the produce or to any related product ".
§ That definition is as wide as a barn door. It could include almost anything which is remotely related to agriculture or horticulture, or which could, in effect, in any conceivable way be used as a substitute for products related to agriculture. It means that the Minister of Agriculture, if this Bill is not amended, will be taking power to fix minimum import prices for an enormous range of manufactured goods. In my submission, it is useless for the Government to argue that this is merely an enabling Bill; that they intend, as the Minister has said, to apply it only to cereals and cannot put a minimum import price on any commodity unless they lay an Order before the House. That is no real safeguard. If the Government do not intend to use these enormously wide powers, equivalent to a blank cheque, to control the flow of a substantial part of our total imports, why put the powers in the Bill?
§ In Committee in another place the right honourable gentleman the Minister of Agriculture could give only two reasons, which I regard as singularly unconvincing, for this, and both of them refer to cereals. He said (and I think this was a fair point) that cereal products bought from abroad—and he instanced maize and sorghum—might be imported at such low prices as to wreck the market. This could be easily overcome by specifying in the Schedules a list of primary and horticultural products to which Clause 1 should apply, and maize could be included. Later, I shall be submitting a Schedule of this kind for your Lordships' approval.639
§ As regards secondary products, flour is a related product and Mr. Soames suggested that it was conceivable that flour could be imported at such low prices as to wreck the market for wheat. Even if one accepts that contention as a possibility, again there is no reason at all why that product should not be included in the Schedule. These are the only two instances given in justification for taking these enormous powers over an immeasurably wide range of goods. It is not merely for directly related products, like flour, but for any "substance or article of a like nature or use". I submit that that means fixing a price and levying import taxes not merely on directly related products, such as wool, hide, skins and leather, but on cotton, rayon and other man-made fibres, which are substitutes for wool, or on plastic, which is a substitute for leather. Even if we consider only the Minister's example of cereals, the range of related products is very wide. It includes primary products like rice and millet, and also biscuits and cakes, animal feeding stuffs and oilcake.
§ We on this side of the House are wholly in favour of the sensible regulation of imports of beef, mutton and pigmeat, but why must we also include, as this Bill would, corned beef, tinned ham, Oxo, Bovril and other meat extracts, which are all directly related? Imported poultry is in competition with the meat trade and therefore a related product, and fish is related to meat because it is an alternative food. I would ask: why take powers in this Bill to put import taxes on fish? If the noble Lord says, as I have no doubt he will—and I hope he will—that this is not the intention, then he should accept the Amendment and come back at Report stage with a new subsection (10), giving only those powers which it is intended to exercise either immediately or potentially.
§ Under the Bill as it now stands, it would be perfectly possible for the Minister to ask for approval of an Order not only specifying a minimum for new primary products but also levying tax on a wide range of related products. We on this side would no doubt favour that part of the Order dealing with primary products but I am sure that we should be opposed to those for any related products. But we could not amend the Order; we 640 could only accept it in its entirety or reject it. I do not want to go into a dissertation about delegated legislation, but I submit that this is the most unsatisfactory way of legislating. It is impossible to give adequate consideration to important and detailed Statutory Orders in the time we are permitted in this House.
§ For example, only last Thursday the Select Orders Committee issued a Report on the Order transferring the functions of the Minister of Education and the Minister for Science, in which they said that the Order should not be passed without the special consideration of your Lordships' House. But we were obliged to pass the Order that same afternoon. What sort of position should we be in if we were required, at two or three hours' notice, to consider a detailed Order under this Bill of import taxes over a wide range of semi-manufactured and wholly manufactured goods? Frankly, we do not think it right. We do not think that certainly this Government can possibly be trusted with powers of this kind. Once they are on the Statute Book and people realise the position, they will make demands for their use. All sorts of pressure groups will spring up, demanding minimum import prices and taxes on imports if they are below the minimum. What about the soft drinks and cider makers, perhaps even the brewers, demanding protection against imported beverages? Milk producers would be demanding import taxes on milk products, margarine and butter. There is virtually no limit to the application of the words "of like nature and use" and "any related product". It does not seem to me that the Government have begun to think of the meaning of the words they use or of the far-reaching effect they would have.
§ I have been reminded that the Special Orders Committee met on Wednesday afternoon, but I think I am right in saying that the Report was in the hands of your Lordships on Thursday morning. As a member of the Committee, I happen to know that in that case the position was unavoidable, but that is the kind of thing that could happen again, and with a complicated Order it would not allow time for it to be properly considered. The Board of Trade already have powers—no doubt the noble Lord will refer to the fact—to prohibit imports under the Import of Goods 641 (Control) Order 1954; therefore we do not need in this Bill different powers to do much the same thing in a different and, I think, less satisfactory way. It seems to me to be taking away from the Board of Trade powers which Parliament decided ten years ago they should have.
§ We have had a recent example in the Resale Prices Bill of how Ministers in the present Government apparently do not take their colleagues fully into their confidence before they decide to launch into legislation. It seems to me that here is another example. It will be interesting to know whether the Board of Trade have been fully consulted about this, and if they think it is the right way to handle the matter. We on these Benches feel that the Minister of Agriculture should not have the power which these words would give him, and we insist that the words referred to in the Amendment should be deleted from the Bill. If the Government then decide to come back with a new subsection which will enable them to achieve what they have said in another place, and, indeed, what the noble Lord said last week on Second Reading, they want to achieve, then we shall do our best to help them. We do not agree that we should sail into these limited uncharted seas to which the Government now ask us to agree. I therefore urge the noble Lord to accept the Amendments. I beg to move.
Page 1, line 13, leave out from ("description") to ("as").—(Lord Stonham.)
§ 3.2 p.m.
THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD (LORD ST. OSWALD)
I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, for discussing the first two Amendments together, and I agree with him that this is a convenient way of doing it. But I should perhaps go further and mention that a certain amount of what I shall say will, I think, of necessity relate also to the first part of Amendment No. 4. I shall try not to repeat myself at too great length when we come to that Amendment.
Dealing with the first two Amendments, as the noble Lord has said, they have the effect of removing the power to specify "related products", which 642 would, in view of the function of the word "produce" in subsection (10), limit the powers to the primary agricultural and horticultural commodities. The noble Lord has, I think, made it clear that this is the purpose he has in mind. In order to apply an effective minimum import price system, it is essential that it should be possible to cover by the arrangements not only the primary agricultural or horticultural produce, but certain related commodities which these Amendments would have the effect of excluding from the powers contained in the clause. I think the noble Lord is in some doubt as to whether they would be inevitably excluded—at least I thought his argument was leading that way—but, after long consideration, we think that they would.
Taking the cereal arrangements, which, as noble Lords know, the Government wish to introduce under this legislation, it would not be practicable to apply the minimum import price system in the interests of maintaining a stable market for the main United Kingdom cereals without being able to apply the arrangements also to sector commodities which are derived from the primary cereals. Flour, as the noble Lord said, is an obvious case in point. If minimum import prices were applied and enforced on wheat, but not on wheat flour, and levies were being charged on wheat imports in order to maintain the minimum import price, exporters and importers would naturally have an inducement to trade in wheat flour rather than in wheat. Clearly, this could seriously weaken the minimum import price arrangements on wheat as a means of maintaining market stability.
The scope of the definition of "related product" in subsection (10), which these Amendments would delete, was discussed in some detail in another place. I recognise that the definition is very widely drafted, but I can assure noble Lords that this was looked at most carefully before being discussed in another place, and has been looked at carefully again since. As noble Lords know, it has been considered right to draft this legislation in general enabling terms so that the Ministers concerned would be empowered to apply the minimum import price and levy arrangements to any agricultural or horticultural produce if circumstances requiring 643 this arose. In other words, although the Government have plans at present to apply the minimum import prices only in the cereals sector, it is considered, in view of the rapidly changing situation in the world markets for temperate foodstuffs, and the widespread interest in international agreements governing these commodities, that it is right not to confine the legislation to cereals, but to take general powers which could be implemented by order.
In drafting the definition of "related product", which is included in the clause, we came up against the problem that it was impossible to say precisely what range of related products it might be necessary in practice to prescribe. In the case of cereals, we propose to specify at the outset, in addition to the main cereal grains, the cereal flours, groats, meals and other types of worked cereals and cereal offals. We cannot rule out the possibility that it may be necessary, in the light of experience of operating the arrangements on cereals, to alter the list which we specify initially. What "related products" would need to be specified in sectors other than cereals. if it became necessary to apply minimum price arrangements to these, would also need to be considered in detail when the arrangements were being framed, and the powers in the clause, we think, must clearly allow for this. If a tight and limiting definition of "related products", were included in the clause, there would therefore be a real danger that it would be found, in practice, that some "related products" which it was necessary to include within the arrangements were excluded by the drafting.
This is why it was found necessary to include in the clause a wide definition of "related product". The Ministers' powers to specify commodities are, however, limited by the provisions laying down the purposes for which the powers may be exercised. This is a matter of importance which was, I think, overlooked by the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, or at least was made light of by him.
LORD ST. OSWALD
What it means is that the Ministers concerned would have to show that it was necessary to specify commodities in the interests of maintaining in the United Kingdom a stable market for agricultural and horticultural produce of any description produced here. If the noble Lord wants the exact words, they are in the opening words of Part I of the Bill. This, I should have thought, would be a clear enough guide for Parliament to take into account. Clearly the more remote any "related product" was from the ordinary primary produce to which it related, the less likely it would he that the Ministers could make out a case for specifying it. I do not know whether the noble Lord wishes to contradict me on that, but I should have thought it was entirely logical.
In addition, the clause provides that any order specifying a commodity must be approved by Affirmative Resolution in both Houses of Parliament. This would mean that Parliament would have the opportunity in debate of scrutinising and examining the Government's justification for specifying particular commodities included in the order. The initial step in introducing the arrangements in Clause 1 of any particular commodity would always require such an Affirmative Resolution of each House. The noble Lord, Lord Stonham, said that these provisions were as wide as a barn door, but the point I would make to him is that Parliament has to give permission for the opening of the barn door.
LORD ST. OSWALD
One side or another at any given time may be able to exert greater leverage on the key, this is perfectly true, but that is so in any aspect of legislation. The noble Lord said that maize and flour were only two instances of where this may lead, but I think it would be unwise to choose to specify other commodities, because it might lead to the mistaken conclusion that there was a firm intention to do SO.
I think that perhaps his main argument in advance of what I am saying 645 was that it was impossible to debate Orders in the time given in this House. I think this is not really a matter for me to comment upon. But he also said, if I understood him correctly, that he thought the occasion might arise where there was only two or three hours' notice for the House to study Orders. In fact, of course, these Orders will in the main be orders laid before the House and both Houses of Parliament will be given 40 days in which to pray against them.
I have tried to explain why it was felt necessary to draft the definition of "related product" in the broad terms which are included in the clause, and how other provisions in the clause as a whole would have the effect of circumscribing the freedom of the Ministers concerned to specify individual commodities. I can assure the Committee that this is a point of view which my right honourable friend has looked at most carefully. The clause, as it stands, is the most satisfactory way which has been found of providing the powers which are necessary in view of the generally enabling nature of the legislation, and I fear I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ 3.14 p.m.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
I wonder whether the noble Lord, Lord St. Oswald, will again consider this Amendment. There may be difficulty in finding words of the right kind, but I do not think there is a great division of principle between the noble Lord opposite and my noble friend Lord Stonham. Undoubtedly, the Bill as drafted gives sweeping powers to the Minister. If he were to use some of these powers we might well find that, apart from the raw materials which are involved, there were many by-products which were major imports into this country from our Commonwealth friends. One would hope that before any power is used, whether it is for the basic material or for a by-product, there would be consultation with our Commonwealth friends, but so far as this House is concerned my noble friend was quite correct in suggesting that this House might find itself in extreme difficulties when orders were placed before it.
My noble friend drew our attention to the Special Orders Committee. The Chairman will correct me if I am wrong, 646 but I think it is not part of the duty of the Special Orders Committee to consider the principles behind an order. They are not called upon to consider the national aspects which might flow from it. Their duty is very narrow in the sense that they have to decide whether the order is a matter of principle and whether it raises a matter of public importance. The Committee can advise the House that it does, but it does not consider in detail the substance of the order. Therefore, the Special Orders Committee does not consider the facts that may be behind the order, or the implications of the order on this nation as a whole or on our Commonwealth and overseas trading friends. Therefore, I should not regard the Special Orders Committee in any way as a protection in this legislation.
We know that very often when we have an order before this House it covers a fairly wide range of subjects: they are related to the Bill, it is true, but they contain considerable detail. My noble friend is quite correct in saying that the House has no alternative but to accept an order or reject it completely. We may agree with 99 per cent. of the contents of the order but there may be difficulty over the remaining one per cent. On these orders we have no opportunity of moving an Amendment, and the House is therefore placed in the position that it may have to accept this one per cent. to which objection is taken simply in order to attain the 99 per cent. which it supports.
It may be that we could look at our methods of conducting our Business in future, but this is the situation to-day. The Government are taking these very wide powers, and they are able to use the present system to get an order through without Parliament being able to amend it. Therefore I hope that, if the Minister cannot accept the words of the Amendment, he will give a firm undertaking to your Lordships' House that, in the case of an order of considerable importance, covering a wide range of goods, at least a White Paper will be issued so that the House will have an opportunity to discuss that White Paper and perhaps, if necessary, have a Division upon it. As, the noble Lord knows, we have been extremely reluctant over the years to divide on Orders. I remember an undertaking 647 being given some years ago (I think it was by the Ministry of Transport) that, recognising our difficulties on orders, they would produce a White Paper so that the House could discuss it and perhaps move an Amendment to it. In other words, they would make it possible for the House to notify to the Government its feelings on the proposal.
I do not think that there is here any question of division in principle. We are particularly concerned at the wide sweeping powers which the Government are taking in this Bill, the difficulty that this House and the other place will have in carrying out any Amendment that they may feel necessary, and I should have thought it would not be beyond the powers of the Parliamentary draftsmen to find sufficient words to cover, in the first instance, the question of cereals, and other words which would at least give some limitation to these sweeping powers.
Before the noble Lord replies further, I think we must bear in mind what your Lordships are asked to do in Committee this afternoon and what has been the basis of this Amendment that is before us. We are asked to leave out the words, "related product". Both sides of the Committee, I believe, are agreed on the principle underlying this clause, that there should be this measure of import regulations or control to put a floor in the market. The question is, how does one do it practically? It can be done by fiscal measures, as is proposed now, or by physical measures of physical control. There is a parallel, surely, in the physical controls which are already on the Statute Book and which are operated by the Board of Trade. In these cases it has been found necessary, if Parliament is given a physical control over imports in that way, to include some form of words like "related product"; otherwise, the intention is stultified.
If you take out of this clause the words "or related product" or something which means that, you find yourself in this great difficulty: that when you are trying to control barley, you have no right to do anything about maize; or when you are dealing with wheat you have no right to deal with 648 flour. It is a pragmatic point. You obviously must have the right to deal with it in that way. I should have thought that these words, which have been most seriously looked at in another place, at all stages of the Bill, are the words of the Parliamentary draftsmen. I understand that they have been used before, in other legislation, and it seems to me that they must be the right words. We do not, I am sure, accuse noble Lords opposite of being tendentious here and trying to spoil this clause by taking out this phrase. What is before the Committee now is that we should take out the words "or related product". If we do that, surely this clause is spoiled, because any legislation must have the right to deal with flour at the same time as it deals with wheat.
§ LORD STONHAM
May I interrupt the noble Earl? He would be quite right if we merely took out the words and left it at that. But he will be aware, if he looks at the Order Paper, that there are other Amendments later on which will do the job in another and, as we think, better way.
One begs leave to doubt whether they will do it in a better way. If we take this Amendment as it stands, I think the Committee would not be right to accept it and take out these words. I hope the Committee will do no such thing.
It is rather a pity that the English language does not contain a substitute for the words "related product", because at first sight they seem extremely wide. I have no doubt that the Chinese have an ideograph which would be suitable for the purpose, if only we could find it. Having looked at the words, and pronounced them too wide you have to go back to the beginning of the clause, and before you can touch a related product you have to prove that it is in the interest of maintaining a stable market for United Kingdom agricultural or horticultural products. I do not know to whom you prove that, but I think it would be rather far-fetched to go to law or to Parliament or to anybody else, and to try to prove that it is necessary to restrict the imports of Terylene in order to preserve the price of British cross-bred wool, which I think is what 649 the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, was suggesting. In default of any better words of the English language, I cannot conceive how it can be better signified than in these words. With the principle I am heartily in agreement, as most of your Lordships are. The greater the production, the higher the price for British agriculture, the better I am pleased.
§ LORD WALSTON
I think we all agree—and noble Lords who have spoken so far all agree—that we are at one with the objectives of this clause. Obviously, if we are trying to stabilise prices for home producers, we must have control, not only over the prices of the smaller imports but on other competitive imports. So far as that goes, there is no difference between us. But I agree with my noble friends that this drafting gives an extremely wide scope; and wider, I think, than Parliament should allow. Naturally, Parliamentary draftsmen wish to draw a Bill as wide as they can, because there is no "comeback" on them if, in the future, a Government wish to do something and it is not included in the Bill. If it is included —and the wider it is drafted, the more likely it is to be included—the better those who have to operate the Act are satisfied. I think it is our job here to see that this blanket does not cover too many bodies. At the moment I agree with my noble friends in thinking that it does cover far too many bodies. It covers as many bodies as you wish to put under it. Under the clause as it stands, it may be possible, in order to protect the consumption of English cabbages, to put restrictions on the importation of French asparagus, because if people can get cheap asparagus they are not going to buy cabbage. That is the width with which this Bill enables the Government to operate.
I hope that the Minister will not be adamant in this matter, accepting the fact that we all want the same thing, and will take it back and think again. The fact that this point has been discussed at length in another place, as the noble Earl, Lord Waldegrave, said, is surely no argument for not giving it further consideration. There are a good many other things discussed in another place which have been altered in this Chamber with 650 occasional somewhat far-reaching results, as in the case of the Peerage Bill. The fact that a clause has gone through another place must not be brought forward as an argument that we must accept it without any further discussion at all. I hope that when the Minister replies he will accept that there is a genuine problem here; that the Bill as now drafted errs on the side of being too widely drawn, and that he will use his undoubted ability and intelligence, and that of his helpers, to see that something rather closer to what we want emerges.
§ LORD STONHAM
I was delighted at the intervention of the noble Earl, Lord Waldegrave—a very reasonable intervention, I thought, particularly because he has, as it were, come back to the fold. I am even more delighted that we can welcome back on these Benches, after far too long an interval, our noble friend Lord Williams of Barnburgh. It begins to shape itself like an old boys' reunion. But my noble friend Lord Williams of Barnburgh is the daddy of us all, so far as this subject is concerned. I think the noble Earl, Lord Waldegrave, put the point of difference precisely and exactly, except that he said you cannot do without the words "related product". I hope to submit later on that we ought to be able to deal with it in another way.
I should like to reinforce the appeal made by my noble friend Lord Walston that the Minister should agree to look at this again. In so doing, let him take note of what his noble friend Lord Hawke said. We ought to find other words for "related" or "related product". If you look at the definition in the Bill of what "related product" means, in subsection (10) you will see that it says, leaving out the intervening words:and 'related products' … means 'any related product'When you have to use the actual words to define what you are defining, then I think we have come to the outer edge; and it really is not good enough. Therefore I hope that the noble Lord, Lord St. Oswald, will not be satisfied by saying, as he did to my noble friend Lord Shepherd, that the safeguard is there because the Minister can only come for 651 ward with an Order and show that what he proposes is:in the interest of maintaining in the United Kingdom a stable market for agricultural or horticultural produce.Successive Ministers of Agriculture have come forward to show that for the last eleven or twelve years. We now come to this Bill, which proves beyond a peradventure that we have not got a stable market for agriculture; though every proposal they brought forward was said to be in the interests of agriculture, they now have to come with this Bill which admits that they have all failed. I feel very strongly that the Government should not come to us with a form of words which embraces so many things, and which they have not the slightest intention of doing. I hope, therefore, the noble Lord will tell us they will take this back again and have another look at it.
§ LORD DOUGLAS OF BARLOCH
The noble Lord, Lord St. Oswald, and the noble Lord, Lord Hawke, have suggested that the interpretation of these provisions is in some way controlled by the initial words of subsection (1). But, of course, there is no control. This is not a case in which you could go to the courts and ask for a declaration that a regulation was ultra vires. There is nothing of that kind in it. So long as the Minister says that he thinks it is in the interests of maintaining a stable market, that is the end of it. There is no control beyond the opinion of the Minister other than such control as Parliament is able to exercise by voting against the regulation when it is made.
With regard to the scope of the powers which were asked for, let it be observed that "related products" means, in effect, every article of any kind whatsoever which is derived by any kind of process of manufacture, including admixture, with other articles in order to arrive at the ultimate result. Therefore, it includes, for example, not only flour, but starch; and because it is defined so as to include articles which may be used in substitution of any of these things, it will include a very wide range of other things. Starch, for example, is very widely used as an adhesive. This power would enable a prohibition or an import duty to be imposed upon some 652 other substance of a totally different origin which was used as an adhesive.
May I interrupt the noble Lord for one moment? Is he at the moment giving his own opinion, or are these words which have been used by a Government lawyer in another place as a definition of related produce?
§ LORD DOUGLAS OF BARLOCH
I am, of course, giving my own opinion upon what is contained in the Bill, and I am perfectly prepared to justify it by the definition of a "related product", which is given in subsection (10), because it is defined asany product of a description which is obtained fromagricultural produce. But not only that; it isany product of a description which is obtained … from any related product".Therefore, you can advance from stage to stage in the process of manufacture, no matter how many stages it goes through, and every one of the articles so produced is a "related product". In addition to that, something which is obtained by the use of an agricultural product is also a "related product". So the use, in fact, may be a quite minor part of the process, but if it is an essential one you still have a related product which is within the scope of this definition.
Also, it is provided that a related product is one in which either a previous related product or an agricultural product is a material, a component or ingredient, it matters not how small is the proportion. In addition to that, any substance or article of a like nature or like use is a related product. Therefore, as I said just now, starch is a derivative of flour; it is used as, among other things, an adhesive, and any other adhesive whatsoever, because it can be used for the same purpose, is a "related product".
You can bring within this definition an infinity of articles. Straw, which is an agricultural product, is used for the purpose of making building boards. So are a great many other things. Building boards of all kinds are manufactured. Every one of them will be a "related product" if straw is used for the purpose of making any kind of building board whatsoever. In fact, 653 what underlies this provision as it stands is a fundamental principle, to endeavour to obstruct any kind of technological or industrial progress which introduces a substitute for an article which is derived from an agricultural product. If that is the principle upon which this legislation is framed and is going to be operated, it is entirely against technological progress in any direction in which a related product within this extremely wide definition exists or can exist.
§ THE MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO (LORD CARRINGTON)
I wonder whether it would be convenient at this moment if I moved that the House be resumed and we had the statement. I beg to move.
§ Moved accordingly, and on Question, Motion agreed to.