HC Deb 30 May 1938 vol 336 cc1641-2
29. Mrs. Tate

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the steep fall in the price of fat sheep and the rise in the cost of feeding stuffs; and what steps he proposes to take to deal with the situation?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I am aware that prices of fat sheep have declined during the current year, but I am glad to say that last week there was a firmer tendency in the markets and no further reduction in prices. since the beginning of the year the cost of feeding stuffs has steadily declined, and in April prices were about 4 per cent. lower than a year ago. As regards the last part of the question, consultations are proceeding with representatives of the Governments of the Commonwealth of Australia and of New Zealand, on the subject of imports of mutton and lamb. Feeding stuff prices are governed by world conditions, over which the Government have no control.

Mr. Lambert

Can my right hon. Friend say when he expects the termination of these conferences with Australia and New Zealand?

Mr. Morrison

I cannot name a date.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Are not these prices governed largely by tariffs?

Sir Percy Harris

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider, as an emergency matter, the taking off of duties on feeding stuffs?

Mr. Morrison

The duties on feeding stuffs have no real relevance to this matter.

Mr. Leach

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why he considers it a bad thing that the price of meat should be falling?