HC Deb 09 July 1959 vol 608 cc1535-6
6. Mr. Philips Price

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that dissatisfaction is felt with the grading of bacon carcases in many places carried out by the graders of his Department; and whether he will see to it that instructions are issued to bring about greater uniformity in the methods adopted.

Mr. Godber

Perhaps the hon. gentleman will let me have particulars of the complaints he has in mind, as I am not aware of any general dissatisfaction. The grading of bacon pig carcases depends entirely on actual measurements, and I am satisfied that throughout the country a high stardard of uniformity has been achieved.

Mr. Philips Price

As there is considerable dissatisfaction in some parts of the country, of which I will certainly inform the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary, would it not be desirable to send out instructions to graders to secure uniformity on at least two points, namely, length of carcase and thickness of fat on the back?

Mr. Godber

Both those points are covered in the instructions given. Specific lengths and depth of fat are particularly laid down. That is why I should like to see the facts. If the hon. Member will let me have them, I will gladly look into them.

9. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has yet held discussions with representatives of the bacon curing industry; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Hare

I had full discussion with representatives of the British bacon curing industry when we met on 3rd July. I shall be sending them a considered reply.

Mr. Willey

As the new Anglo-Danish Agreement, whatever its merits, is a reversal of all the previous assurances which the Government have given, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he discussed this matter with the industry and what the views of the industry were?

Mr. Hare

I kept the bacon curing industry informed in the process of negotiations.

Mr. T. Williams

Did the right hon. Gentleman also keep the British Pig Producers' Association informed as to the likely result of these negotiations? If so, can he give the House some sort of appraisal of their reaction?

Mr. Hare

During all these negotiations I kept in very close touch with the president of the National Farmers' Union.