HC Deb 19 November 1962 vol 667 cc803-4
16. Mr. Oram

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will state for the financial year 1961–62, and in respect of each product for which a deficiency payment was made, what percentage increase in market prices would have been necessary to provide producers, from market prices alone, an income equal to that which they received from actual market prices plus deficiency payments.

Mr. Soames

I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT estimates of the figures requested for the guarantee year 1961–62, together with those for the two previous years, since figures for a single year can be affected by unusual market fluctuations. Deficiency payments in 1961–62 accounted for about 16 per cent. of the total market value of all food produced in this country.

Mr. Oram

I shall await these figures with interest, but can the Minister at this stage say whether they do not reveal that if Britain should enter the Common Market and abandon the deficiency payments system without getting something pretty substantial in return, then either British farmers will suffer considerably if these price increases are not brought about or British housewives will suffer very considerably if they are brought about?

Mr. Soames

The hon. Gentleman knows that under the common agricultural policy the market prices will be considerably higher than they are in this country. As to the question of the increased cost of food, there are other Questions on that subject on the Order Paper.

The following is the information:

Guarantee years
—— 1959–60 1960–61 1961–62
Fat Cattle 3 10 31
Fat Sheep 46 25 56
Fat Pigs 16 16 27½
Milk 4
Eggs (Hen) 34 21 18
Wool 15½ 18 18½
Wheat 34 43 24
Barley 42 48 38
Oats 29 43 40

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