§ Mr. GRUNDY
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that on the 6th October application was made by the National Union of Allotment Holders to the Development Commission for a deputation to be received to make representations against the continued payment of public funds to the Agricultural Organisation Society; that a similar request was made to the Ministry of Agriculture on 9th October; that on the 30th October the Development Commission definitely declined to receive a deputation, shifting the responsibility on to the Ministry of Agriculture; and that 1155W on the 17th November the Ministry of Agriculture also declined to receive a deputation; and whether he can reconcile these refusals with his statement that the National Union of Allotment Holders had not asked that a deputation should be received, and that he was informed the Development Commission had not declined to receive any deputation to protest against grants being made to the society?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
It was understood by the Development Commissioners from the application made by the National Union of Allotment Holders on the 6th October, as followed by their letter of the 11th October, that the deputation was desired to discuss the alleged issue by the Agricultural Organisation Society of a circular to which exception was taken by the Union. The Commissioners had already heard the views of the Union on the general question of the payment of public funds to the society when the original deputation in April last was received. The statement which I made on 23rd November was not that the Union had not asked that a deputation should be received, but that the Agricultural Organisation Society had not done so.
It will accordingly be clear that the Development Commissioners have already heard the views of the Union upon the general question of grants to the society. The particular question raised in the 1156W letter of the 6th October was referred by them to the Ministry of Agriculture, as explained by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in reply to the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Raffan) on the 1st November.