HC Deb 03 May 1956 vol 552 cc586-7
37. Mr. J. E. B. Hill

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will consider varying the standard price for fat cattle seasonally so as to match the difference in the production costs of cattle fattened in winter and of those finished on grass during the summer.

Mr. Nugent

Careful consideration has been given to the possibility of seasonal variations in the standard price, but we have concluded that a uniform standard price for the year is in the best interests of the industry as a whole.

Mr. Hill

Is my hon. Friend aware that, unlike the case of pigs, the bullock fattener consists of two classes of farmer, the winter fattener and the summer grazier, and those two classes do not normally follow on the same farm. Would my hon. Friend, therefore, keep this position under review so that production will come forward evenly during the year, in the winter as well as in the summer months?

Mr. Nugent

The whole object of the present arrangement is that the supply shall come forward evenly in order to meet the current demand, and the fifty-two weeks' rolling average is the best way of doing that.

Mr. Royle

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether it is the intention of his hon. Friend that there should be an increase in the price of store cattle or a reduction in the price of grass cattle?

Mr. Nugent

I am afraid I do not know what the intention of my hon. Friend is.

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