HC Deb 21 March 1960 vol 620 c8
9. Mr. Stodart

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of the mutton and lamb consumed in the United Kingdom during the years 1957, 1958, and 1959, respectively, was produced at home.

Mr. Godber

Home production contributed 38 per cent., 35 per cent. and 41 per cent. respectively, of the total consumption of mutton and lamb in the United Kingdom in the years 1957, 1958 and 1959.

Mr. Stodart

While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he does not find it rather difficult to reconcile these figures with declarations which have been made from this side of the House on many occasions that the home producers would have first place in the home market? Secondly, can he reconcile them with the statement in the recent White Paper that the time has come to check the expansion of mutton and lamb production in this country?

Mr. Godber

Certainly I can reconcile them with those statements. I remind my hon. Friend that the most recent figures show an increase on the pre-war percentage. This is a problem which must be considered in relation to the cost of support prices. I remind my hon. Friend that the cost of support in relation to mutton and lamb has risen sharply. He is aware that at one period last year, no doubt largely due to climatic conditions, the cost of support was very heavy indeed.

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