HC Deb 07 November 1960 vol 629 cc639-40
28. Mr. Prior

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the low prices for barley and the difficulties and expense of the 1960 harvest, he will take steps to expedite the advance deficiency payment for the crop.

Mr. Soames

Yes, Sir. We hope to start sending out payable orders at least as early as we did in 1958, when the harvest was also difficult.

Mr. Prior

Is the Minister aware that that reply will give considerable satisfaction to the farming community? This has been a very difficult season. Barley has been put on the wheat market at a depressed price, and anything that he can do to get the farmers their cash earlier might result in a stronger market and in less subsidy, and less to be paid out by the taxpayer.

Mr. Soames

It has, indeed, been a very difficult market but, according to the corn returns, the market price for barley in mid-October this year was about 5½d. per cwt. less than it was at the same time last year.