HC Deb 03 May 1956 vol 552 cc585-6
36. Mr. Peyton

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the estimated quantities and values of Argentine meat to be imported into the United Kingdom in 1956.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. G. R. H. Nugent)

It is impossible to forecast future supplies of meat from the Argentine, but there is no reason to expect any sharp changes in the future supply position. I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT details of supplies in the first quarter of 1956.

Mr. Peyton

Has my hon. Friend considered the possibility and desirability of limiting the quantity of imports in future? Further, is he satisfied with the arrangements which exist for inspection not only of carcases before and after shipping, but also of the animals before they are slaughtered?

Mr. Nugent

On the question of restriction of imports, as supplies of carcase meat are still running at below prewar level, we think it desirable to allow all available supplies to come in. In regard to veterinary arrangements before the carcases come in from the Argentine, I would say that we have our own veterinary officers out there and the arrangements are as good as we can make them.

Following are the details:

January-March 1956
Quantity '000 tons Value £'000 c.i.f.
Chilled beef 53.9 10,322
Frozen beef and veal 14.4
Lamb 19.5 3,036
Pork 1.5 271
Offal (estimated) 7.1 (not available)