HC Deb 09 December 1953 vol 521 cc1947-8
3. Mr. Bence

asked the Minister of Food what recent representations he has had from egg producers respecting the marketing of eggs.

Major Lloyd George

The only recent representation of which I am aware is an indirect approach by the Poultry Association of Great Britain. On this, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture on 3rd December to the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton).

Mr. Bence

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman explain why his Department is retaining bulk purchase and the importation of eggs while at the same time abolishing bulk purchase of imported grain?

Major Lloyd George

The hon. Gentleman will realise that the egg scheme was an interim scheme and until the permanent scheme is set up and we decide what form the marketing of eggs shall take, it has been decided that the Ministry shall continue to import.

17. Mr. F. Willey

asked the Minister of Food what level of retail prices of shell eggs had been anticipated when the original estimate of his Department was prepared.

Major Lloyd George

A level high enough to eliminate the subsidy.

Mr. Willey

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House audibly what the figure was? It must have been a definite figure and not a mythical figure.

Major Lloyd George

I cannot add to what I have said—a level high enough to eliminate the subsidy.

Mr. Nabarro

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that, under the Socialist rationing arrangements for eggs, the taxpayers had to find £26 million in subsidies, and then all the individual consumer got was one stale egg per week, whereas today abundant eggs are available at reasonable prices?

Mr. Willey

In view of the difficulty of pursuing this matter at Question time, I give notice that I shall try to raise if on the Adjournment.