Supplementary Memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (P 10)
1. This memorandum is the second submitted on behalf of the Government by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
2. The further memorandum is submitted in respect to the addendum to the memorandum by the Corporation of London. In this addendum the Corporation states that it has responded to the Minister making clear its objections to the sale of non-horticultural goods (fish and meat) at New Covent Garden Market, and speculates as to why the Minister has not approved this application.
3. While it is true that the Corporation has registered its opposition to this application, its letter undertakes to provide reasons for its objection. Despite a reminder, these have not been forthcoming. As the Minister of State said when she gave evidence to the Committee, the Minister has now agreed to this application with the proviso that face to face selling will not be permitted. The Ministry will continue to press the Corporation to provide it with the legal arguments underlying its objection; once these are received the Minister will be in a better position to reach a decision on whether to alter the conditions imposed on the lease. Copies of the relevant correspondence are annexed [not printed].
4. The Corporation speculates that the Minister considers that a conflict of interest arises in this case because the Covent Garden Market Authority's profits accrue to the Ministry. This is not the case. The Covent Garden Market (Financial Provisions) Act 1977 requires any money so paid to the Minister to be paid into the consolidated fund. The Ministry therefore derives no benefit from the money.