HC Deb 23 May 1938 vol 336 cc839-40
32. Mr. Lambert

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the imports of mutton and lamb have increased during the first four months of this year as compared with the previous two years; and whether any and, if so, what decisions have been reached as a result of his consultations with the representatives of New Zealand and Australia?

35. Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is now in a position to make a statement with regard to the consultations which are taking place with the Governments of Australia and New Zealand regarding the imports of mutton and lamb into this country?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

Imports of frozen lamb in the first four months of this year have been somewhat less than in the corresponding period of 1937, and although there has been some increase in overseas supplies of mutton, the excess has largely consisted of the lower grade of ewe mutton. Stocks of mutton and lamb in cold storage in Great Britain are substantially below the levels of a year ago. Consultations with representatives of the Governments of the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand are still proceeding.

Mr. Lambert

Does my right hon. Friend accept the position that the home producer should have the first call in the home market?

Board certain figures relating to the production of bacon in Great Britain which, with my hon. Friend's permission, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following are the figures:

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir.

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the prices of mutton and lamb in parts of the country are causing serious concern to the farmers, and will he consider buying up large quantities of mutton and lamb, and placing them in cold storage for use in an emergency, in order to relieve the market?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware of the trouble caused in the sheep industry at the present time due to the prevailing low prices, but the second part of my hon. and gallant Friend's question raises another matter altogether.

Mr. Georģe Griffiths

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that the agricultural worker gets a better wage, so that he can buy British lamb and mutton?

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