HC Deb 30 May 1960 vol 624 cc971-2
8. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how the supplies of bacon, home-produced and imported, respectively, for the last six-months period, compare with the supplies for the corresponding period for the previous year.

Mr. John Hare

For the six months from October, 1959, to March, 1960, the home production of bacon was 93,100 tons compared with 110,900 tons in the same period a year earlier; imports were 195,000 tons compared with 163,500 tons a year earlier.

Mr. Willey

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that these figures graphically illustrate the deterioration of the pig industry in this country? In face of the new competition which will arise with the tariff adjustment of 1st July, does he not agree that this industry has been sorely let down in the past?

Mr. Hare

As we have often discussed, these figures are due partly to the fall in pig prices and partly to a demand for pork arising from more attractive prices. We have given encouragement to the pig farmer by the action we took in the last Price Review, not only by putting up the price but by making it possible for long-term contracts to be concluded between the curer and the producer. More than 50 per cent. of our pigs are likely to be delivered to bacon factories under these long-term contracts.

Mr. Bence

Will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries into reports that as disappointed in these figures as he expects to be.

Following are the figures:

bacon curers in this country are importing pig meat, curing it and then putting it on the market as home-produced bacon?

Mr. Hare

If the hon. Member has any evidence of that sort of thing, I hope he will let me know.

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