HC Deb 17 November 1953 vol 520 cc1543-4
22. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps are being taken in Scotland to encourage Landrace pig breeding and Danish methods of bacon production.

Mr. Snadden

No special encouragement has been given to Landrace as against other breeds of pigs, but my right hon. Friend's officers have kept in close touch with breeders who possess Land-race pigs. These breeders have received help and advice from the advisory services. As regards Danish methods of bacon production, my right hon. Friend is satisfied that producers are endeavouring to improve their methods of production in order to meet the higher grading standard now in operation for pigs.

Mr. Grimond

Are more of these pigs being imported for Scotland? If so, what will be done with them? Will they be sold by auction?

Mr. Snadden

There have been two importations of Swedish Landrace pigs into Scotland. They have been in the experimental stage until now, but, naturally, we are doing all that we can through our advisory services to help people to use these pigs to the best advantage.

Major Anstruther-Gray

Is my hon. Friend not aware that the last importation of Landrace pigs was sold at more than £900 apiece, which was much more than the average pig breeder could afford to pay? Will the Department, therefore, not do something definite to encourage Land-race pigs to be bought by those who believe that they would improve bacon production?

Mr. Snadden

I remind my hon. and gallant Friend that the importation of Landrace pigs is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture.

Mr. G. Brown

Hear, hear.

Sir R. Boothby

Are the Ministry of Agriculture still pursuing their obstructive tactics with regard to the importation of Landrace pigs? If so, will my hon. Friend press for the control of the importation of livestock into Scotland by the Scottish Office and not by the Ministry of Agriculture?

Mr. Snadden

I am not aware of any obstruction in regard to these pigs.

Mr. Bence

If these pigs were imported at, I understand, £25 apiece and were sold at £900 apiece, who made the profit?