§ 10. Mr. Hurd
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the considerable increase in the supplies of bacon and other pig meat from home sources and Denmark and the consequent sharp fall in market prices and the heavier liability on British taxpayers to make good the price guarantee 377 to home producers; and what action is being taken to stabilise supplies and market prices so that future production is not jeopardised with ill results for consumers.
Yes, Sir. The guarantee arrangements for fat pigs, while enabling consumers to benefit from low market prices, protect the incomes of producers collectively and so provide a proper measure of stability to the industry. The trend of production, the market prospects for the coming year and the extent of Exchequer liability are among the factors that will be taken into account at the next Annual Review before the guaranteed price for 1958–59 is determined.
§ Mr. Willey
Is the Minister aware, though, that the housewife enjoyed cheaper bacon, that she does not intend to be held up to ransom by a producers' cartel and that there is Government responsibility here? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if these supplies are to he regulated he must accept his responsibility and not merely allow high prices, reduced supplies and a high charge on the taxpayer?
When the hon. Member reads my reply he will see that I referred solely to Government measures.