HC Deb 24 July 1939 vol 350 cc1005-6
24. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, since the Bacon Industry (Amendment) Act, 1939, provides for a steadily increasing production of bacon in this country he can state the percentage increase there has been since the passing of that Act?

The Minister of Agriculture (Colonel Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith)

My hon. Friend's premise is incorrect; the Bacon Industry (Amendment) Act, 1939, was concerned only with certain adjustments in the provisions of the Bacon Industry Act, 1938, relating to payments to or by curers on account of feeding-stuff costs and bacon prices, and to the production of bacon from imported pigs. In view of the shorter supply of pigs this year the output of bacon has not increased since the Amendment Act became law.

Mr. De la Bère

Can my right hon. and gallant Friend tell me what is happening in the bacon industry? Why is the whole thing being held up? Why are we not making headway?

Mr. A. V. Alexander

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been called to the reports that the Pig Marketing Board's annual meeting adjourned and that the scheme looks like being in grave danger of collapse? What does the Government propose to do?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

That is another question. The question I have answered dealt with the bacon industry.

26. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in connection with the Pigs and Bacon Marketing Schemes, he will take steps to prevent the further closing down of the small curing establishments and factories, in view of their special value in times of emergency; and whether he will consult with the Food (Defence Plans) Department with the object of effecting this purpose?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

The only grounds which exist at present under which a factory licence granted under the Bacon Industry Act, 1938, can be revoked, are that the conditions of the licence have been contravened or that the premises have ceased to be used for the production of bacon. I understand that a few licences have formally been revoked because the premises are no longer being used for bacon production, but no other licences have been revoked. My hon. Friend's question does not, therefore, arise.

Mr. De la Bère

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that bacon curers in all parts of the country are unable to meet their requirements and will he take steps to see that they get better supplies?