HC Deb 13 February 1956 vol 548 c2070
46. Air Commodore Harvey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the future of the marketing of pigs.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. D. Heathcoat Amory)

The Reorganisation Commission is at work on this problem and I cannot anticipate its Report. Officials of my Department are at present discussing with the Farmers' Unions the guarantee arrangements for pigs for the next guarantee year.

Air Commodore Harvey

Will my right hon. Friend say when the Report is likely to be received, because the country has been waiting for it for an extremely long time? Will he bear in mind that what is required is a scheme for the pig industry similar to the deficiency payments scheme for wheat? Will he do everything he can at the earliest possible date to bring real stability to the industry?

Mr. Amory

I cannot agree with my hon. and gallant Friend that the Reorganisation Commission has yet had an excessive period in which to do its work. It was appointed about six months ago, and has been hard at work since. I am sure that all concerned with this difficult problem would do well to await its Report. With regard to the second part of the supplementary question, my hon. and gallant Friend will know that very conflicting views are passionately held about the best future pattern for pig marketing. I will note my hon. and gallant Friend's view.

Mr. Willey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all concerned are sick of and fed up with the present persistent muddle, and that it is not enough for the right hon. Gentleman to say that he is awaiting the Report of the Reorganisation Commission? What is wanted is immediate action now.

Mr. Amory

I would remind the hon. Gentleman that the producers have the very sure safeguard of the guaranteed price behind them.

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