HC Deb 29 June 1938 vol 337 cc1974-6

(1) As soon as may be after the end of every contract period, the Bacon Marketing Board shall ascertain in relation to each registered curer to whom allocated pigs have been delivered—

  1. (a) the amount which bears to the total of the allocation premiums paid or payable by the buyers of allocated pigs the same proportion as the number of allocated pigs delivered to him bears to the total number of allocated pigs;
  2. (b) the total amount of the allocation premiums paid or payable by him in respect of allocated pigs.

(2) There shall be paid to the Bacon Marketing Board by, or by the Bacon Marketing Board to, each such curer (according as in his case the amount mentioned in paragraph (a) of the last preceding Subsection exceeds or falls short of the amount mentioned in paragraph (b) thereof) a sum equal to the difference between those amounts.

(3) No sum shall be payable under Subsection (2) of this Section in respect of a contract period until three months after the conclusion of that period, but the board may make to, and by resolution require from, buyers of allocated pigs such payments on account of the sum which the board estimates will become payable by or to those buyers respectively under that Subsection as it may think proper, and any payment required from a curer by such a resolution shall be a debt due to the board and shall be recoverable accordingly; and any necessary adjustments shall be made at the expiration of the said three months.

(4) In this Section the expression "allocated pigs" means, in relation to a contract period, pigs delivered under long contracts for that period, being pigs in respect of which allocation premiums are payable.—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

5.59 p.m.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This new Clause is moved to enable a measure of pooling of allocation premiums to be placed at the disposal of the bacon curer. The task of distributing contracts among curers will fall to be done by the Pigs Marketing Board, and it will be a very difficult administrative task. As my hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions said just now, the ruling consideration ought to be the best transport arrangements that can be made, so that pigs are moved about as little as possible in order to secure efficiency. That consideration renders it impossible for the board to make a fair allocation of allocated and open contracts as between different curers, and it is, therefore, just that they should be able to pool these premiums over the holders of all of them. That is the purpose of the Clause. Sub-sections (1) and (2) provide that the burden of the allocation premiums shall be pooled through the medium of the board among the curers who pay them so that ultimately each curer pays in respect of each allocated pig a sum arrived at by adding together all the premiums paid by all the curers and dividing by the number of allocated pigs. Sub-section (3) defers the final settlement till three months after the end of the contract period, but enables payments on account to be made by the board to curers and by curers to the board. Sub-section (4) merely defines the phrase "allocated pigs."

6.1 p.m.

Mr. Turton

I find great difficulty in understanding this new Clause. Fortunately, it is not one that the farmers will have to read. It will be for the big business men, the curers, to work it out. I would like to ask the Minister a question about the transferred pig premium. What benefit is it to pay this to the factory that takes the pigs away? I am not sure how this Clause will operate in view of that. If the factories are pooling the burden of allocation premiums, surely the whole of the benefit of 6d. per transferred pig is being taken away. It seems rather a waste of time for one factory to make a pretence of paying 6d. to another factory if they are really insuring against the risk of transferring by means of this pooling Clause.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

My hon. Friend will appreciate that this Clause deals with the pooling of the burden of allocation premiums and not with the benefits of receiving them. These burdens are all pooled together and shared equally by curers who receive pigs other than those pigs specifically nominated to them. I do not think my hon. Friend need fear that any difficulty will arise in regard to the curers themselves if the burden is spread equally.

Mr. Turton

Do I understand from the Minister that the curer who does not receive any transferred pigs will not have to pay any part of this pooling burden?

Mr. Morrison

That is so. It is only those curers who receive pigs in respect of which allocation premiums of one sort or another are payable.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.