HC Deb 09 November 1933 vol 281 cc322-3

asked the Minister of Agriculture how the present price of fat cattle per cwt., live weight, compares with the price a year ago?


The average price of fat cattle at the markets reported to the Ministry for the week ended 1st November, 1933, was 37s. 9d. per live cwt. for first quality, and 32s. 11d. per live cwt. for second quality. These prices compare with 37s. 3d. and 32s. ld., respectively, for the week ended 2nd November, 1932.


asked the Minister of Agriculture how the prices of British beef for the past three months compare with those for the same three months in 1931 and 1932; and what action he proposes to take to ensure the early return of such prices to a level remunerative to British farmers?


asked the Minister of Agriculture what measures he proposes to take to assist the graziers and sellers of fat cattle?


Particulars of the prices of English beef for the past three months, compared with those for the corresponding months in 1931 and 1932, will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT. As a result of the arrangements which have been made, it is estimated that, in addition to substantial reductions in imports of mutton, lamb and bacon, the aggregate imports of chilled and frozen beef in the last quarter of the year will show a reduction of over 23,000 tons, or some 16 per cent., compared with the figures for the corresponding period of 1932. Total imports of chilled beef alone are being reduced by about 15,000 tons. This reduction is much greater than has been secured in any previous quarter and the fact that the fall in prices of fat cattle has been arrested in recent weeks is a hopeful sign that an improvement in the position may reasonably he expected in the near future. As my hon. Friends will be aware, a Reorganisation Commission is at present investigating the problems of the livestock industry.


Will the right hon. Gentleman inform us to what extent he regards the cause of falling prices as being due to low wages and the absence of spending power in the hands of the multitude?

Average Monthly Prices (per lb) of English Beef (Longsides) in the three months August to October, 1933, compared with the corresponding periods in 1932 and 1931.
(Note.—Prices represent transactions between wholesaler and retailer)
Steer and Heifer Beef.
Months. 1931. 1932. 1933.
First Quality. Second Quality. First Quality. Second Quality. First Quality. Second Quality.
d. d. d. d. d. d.
August 7 ⅝ 8 ¼ 7 ½ 6 ⅞ 6 ⅞
September 7 ⅞ 7 7 ⅝ 6 ⅞ 6 ½ 5 ¾
October 7 ⅝ 6 ¾ 6⅞ 5 ⅞ 6 ½ 5 ⅝