§ 5. Brigadier Rayner
asked the Minister of Food with regard to the recent agreement to take 90 per cent. of the exportable surplus of pigs from Eire, how many pigs he expects to receive in the next two years, respectively.
§ Mr. Webb
It is not yet possible to make an estimate. This agreement is 6 designed to give the producers in Eire the sort of guarantee they require to develop their production. It will have no immediate result, but in due course it should provide a useful addition to our supplies. I think we cannot measure the prospects with any precision until some time next year.
§ Colonel Gomme-Duncan
In view of the right hon. Gentleman's statement that this arrangement is to give producers in Eire a guarantee of their future prospects of trade, would he consider giving the same guarantee to home producers in the matter of feedingstuffs, which they cannot get?
§ Mr. Drayson
How does the Minister define "exportable surplus"? Surplus after what? After other countries have been considered?
§ 22. Mr. Dye
asked the Minister of Food whether he is satisfied that the bacon factories at Ipswich and Elmswell, Suffolk, are being used to their fullest capacity the whole year round; and what recent steps he has taken to encourage farmers in Norfolk and Suffolk to produce the most suitable type of bacon pig to supply these factories.
§ Mr. Webb
This is one of our most urgent difficulties, but we have to weigh the loss of weight against other difficulties arising out of our inability to supply bacon in other parts of the country. On balance, I think that the scheme works very well. 7 The improvement mentioned in the last part of my answer will, I think, lead to a general increase in the overall supply of bacon.
§ Mr. Joynson-Hicks
Can the right hon. Gentleman say when he is introducing this grading system, and if there is to be any further announcement about it?
§ Mr. Turton
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider getting rid of these complaints by re-constituting the pigs marketing board?