HC Deb 19 June 1939 vol 348 cc1800-2
42. Sir Arnold Gridley

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can give the approximate value of bacon-pig products consumed in Great Britain for the last year for which figures are avail able; and what proportion of this value was home-produced?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I regret that particulars are not available to enable me to give the value of bacon-pig products consumed in Great Britain, but the value of such products consumed in the United Kingdom in 1938 is estimated at approximately £54,000,000, of which rather more than one-third represents the value of home produce. The figures are exclusive of the value of lard and offals, for which adequate statistics are not available.

43. Sir A. Gridley

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether in view of the decrease in the pig population of Great Britain since the present price formula for bacon-pig was embodied in the Bacon Industry Act, 1938, and of the widespread dissatisfaction of pig-producers with that formula, and of the uncertainty of the future of the contract system in consequence, he can now make a favourable reply to the requests for an improvement in the price formula and undertake to introduce legislation during the current Session to give effect to such improvement in time for the next contract?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I can hold out no prospect of legislation to amend the Bacon Industry Act during the present Session. I am, however, well aware of the difficulties which have arisen, and I am giving, and shall continue to give, in consultation with the Bacon Development Board, earnest consideration to various suggestions which have been made for improving the working of that Act.

Sir A. Gridley

Is the Minister aware that all three boards responsible for pigs and bacon are agreed that the price formula must be revised during this Session, failing which the future of the contracting system is doomed and the industry will be plunged again into chaos; and what immediate action can be taken to prevent such a disaster to a vital home food industry?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

As I have said, I am in consultation with the various bodies, and I hope to see them again within a very short time.

Viscountess Astor

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend consult the consumers?

Mr. A. V. Alexander

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman consider that this price formula can be altered without legislation?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

No, Sir.

Mr. Benjamin Smith

Would not the retention of one only of these three boards do away with a lot of overlapping?

Mr. De la Bère

Is this industry to be allowed to collapse completely?

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