§ 7. Mr. Lipton
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he is now taking to increase pig production.
§ Mr. John Hare
Government action in regard to the level of the pig population is taken in the light of the Annual Review, which is conducted in consultation with the National Farmers' Union.
§ Mr. Lipton
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the sow population of this country has fallen in the last twelve months from 713,000 to 565,000 and that bacon factories are working at only between 35 and 40 per cent. of their capacity? Is it the policy of the Government that this deplorable trend shall continue?
§ Mr. Hare
As the hon. Gentleman knows, I have answered Questions on this subject before. The figure just given by the hon. Gentleman is an exaggeration. I estimate that the bacon curing industry is working at 64 per cent. of its highest level of production. That is a fair figure, and I gave it to the House the other day.