HC Deb 02 February 1959 vol 599 cc7-8
13. Sir A. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent the home production of beef increased during 1958 to offset the fall in imported supplies from Argentina; and to what extent he expects a substantial increase in home beef production during 1959.

Mr. John Hare

Home production of beef and imports from Argentina in 1958 were both practically the same as in the previous year. In both cases increases in the first half of the year were offset by decreases in the second. I believe that the decline in home production is temporary and it should resume its upward trend by the end of the year, when we shall begin to benefit from the record number of calves which have been retained for beef.

Sir A. Hurd

May I take it that my right hon. Friend expects to have a substantial increase in the home production of beef in 1959 and that that will be underlined in the Annual Price Review?

Mr. Hare

Naturally, I am not in a position to talk about the Annual Price Review.

Mr. Willey

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that for the past six months the figures for beef have been considerably less than in the previous year. Can he say how long this trend is likely to continue into this year?

Mr. Hare

It is difficult to answer. The trend continued this year because of a number of factors. These included the meat strike, the fact that there has been a falling off in the number of store cattle imported from Eire, and also the progressive reduction in the average weight of the animals slaughtered.

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