§ 25 and 26. Mr. Dye
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) the average return received by producers of fat cattle accepted for slaughter and at grading centres during the 27th and 28th weeks in this financial year; and what total payments would be required on the basis of present prices to bring up their returns to the average guaranteed price of £7 11s. per live cwt. for the second half of this financial year;
1055 (2) the average return per live hundredweight to producers of fat cattle accepted at grading centres and for slaughter during the first 26 weeks of this financial year; and what total amount would be required to bring the total payments up to the average guaranteed price of £7 11s. per live cwt.
The average return on certified cattle during the first 26 weeks of the present fatstock year was 132s. 11d. per live cwt. In both weeks 27 and 28 it was 128s. per cwt. Under the present method of calculating guarantee payments there may in any twelve months period be over or under payments of the standard price, which is an average price and is not relevant to particular periods within the year.
§ Mr. Dye
Does the fact that the Minister has had to make an alteration in the payment system indicate that there is something wrong with the system which has been in operation in the past or something radically wrong in the marketing system where the price of fat cattle has fallen so low without having any effect on the retail price of beef?
I think we shall have an opportunity of discussing this topic in the House tomorrow evening.