HC Deb 24 February 1937 vol 320 cc1988-90
47. Major Dorman-Smith

asked the Prime Minister whether the trade agreement with Argentina has yet been ratified; and, if not, whether facilities will be given for a Debate on that agreement, in view of its important bearing on the home livestock industry?

The Prime Minister

As regards the first part of the question, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given yesterday by the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to a question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for East Bradford (Mr. Hepworth). As regards the second part, I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend that the Agreement has already, in accordance with the customary procedure, lain on the Table of the House for 21 days, and that it is, therefore, now open to His Majesty's Government to ratify it at any time that they may deem appropriate.

Year. Estimated Total Supply of bacon and hams. Average of top prices per cwt. of No. 1 Sizeable bacon from four main foreign supplying countries. Average top price per cwt. of English No. 1 Sizeable bacon. Ministry of Labour Average Retail Price.
Denmark. Netherlands. Poland. Sweden.
'000 cwts. s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d.
1932 13,758 59 0 53 0 49 6 56 0 (a) 0 10
1936 10,631 93 6 89 6 84 8 89 3 93 3 1 2
(a) Comparable figure not available.
77. Mr. Adams

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the price of bacon is now too high for large sections of the population; and whether, with a view to abolishing this artificial scarcity and at the same time aiding the movement towards freer international trade, the Government propose to abolish the import quota upon this commodity?

Dr. Burgin

According to the statistics compiled by the Ministry of Labour, the average percentage increase since July, 1914, in the retail price of bacon is below the average percentage increase shown for foodstuffs generally. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.

Mr. Adams

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that there is great discontent in the county of Durham? Would he care to investigate it on the spot? If so, we would gladly give him hospitality.

Dr. Burgin

I am much obliged for the invitation.

As far as the agricultural aspect is concerned, the matter was debated during the passage of the Beef and Veal Customs Duties Bill.

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