§ 30. Mr. Collins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware that the recommended retail price for prime cuts of bacon has risen to 4s. 6d. per lb. whereas bacon prices to home producers are still unremunerative; and what steps he will take, by price control or otherwise, to ensure that low producer prices are reflected in reduced prices to the consumer.
§ Mr. John Hare
The price recommendation referred to is produced by a wholesale firm and is based on the current wholesale price of first quality Danish bacon, which increased from 306s. per cwt. to 317s. per cwt. last week. Recent improvements in wholesale prices of English bacon have been reflected in 595 higher prices for bacon pigs. I cannot agree that the average return on pigs sold to bacon factories, which last week was 47s. 6d. per score deadweight as compared with the standard price adjusted for feed of 46s. 9d., is low or unremunerative to producers.
§ Mr. Collins
As a farmer, surely the Minister is aware that bacon prices in the factories are so bad that the producers are just not selling bacon to the factories, and that they are working only to one-quarter or one-third of their capacity? Is not it fantastic that he should tell us that these retail prices are based upon the prices of Danish bacon when our own farmers are not getting remunerative prices? Will not he do something to end this situation, where our producers get bad prices but the housewives pay very high prices?