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Padfield v Minister of Agriculture

[1968] AC 997

Case summary last updated at 05/01/2020 18:04 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Padfield v Minister of Agriculture

The Minister had power to direct an investigation in respect of any complaint as to the operation of any marketing scheme for agricultural produce. Milk producers complained about the price paid by the milk marketing board for their milk when compared with prices paid to producers in other regions. The Minister refused to appoint a committee because of a fear of negative publicity for himself. HL held that to make a decision on this basis was to frustrate the purpose of the act and the minister therefore had to reconsider whether or not to commit the matter to investigation by committee. 
 
Lord Reid: “Parliament must have conferred the discretion with the intention that it should be used to promote the policy and objects of the act.” These are to be determined by the construing of the act as a whole and the minister is not allowed to exercise his discretion in a way that would “thwart or run counter to the policy and objects of the act.” 
 
Lord Pearce: “It was for the Minister to use his discretion to promote Parliament's intention.” 

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