HC Deb 21 February 1957 vol 565 c581
29. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied that the future method proposed for arriving at the amount of deficiency payments for fatstock is the most economical method and the fairest for producers; and whether he will introduce a seasonal price similar to that in operation for wheat deficiency payments.

Mr. Amory

The proposed method for calculating fatstock guarantee payments from 25th March, which is embodied in the Fatstock (Guarantee Payments) Order, 1957, laid before the House on the 14th February, is based on seasonal scales of standard prices for cattle and sheep. I am satisfied that this method, which has the full support of representatives of the producers, is the best that can be devised in the light of experience since decontrol of meat and livestock.

Mr. Baldwin

While glad to know that there will be a seasonal average, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he is satisfied that a figure based on the rolling average for a month and on guesswork for the next month is the fairest and most economical way of arriving at the deficiency payment? If he is so satisfied, will he ask the first half-dozen farmers he meets in the market place, for they will tell him something different.

Mr. Amory

I think the answer to both questions is, "Yes". I am satisfied, but I will ask the first half-dozen farmers I meet.