HC Deb 03 April 1968 vol 762 cc346-7
8. Sir Clive Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are his estimates for home-fed beef supplies in 1968 and 1969.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. James Hoy)

Home-fed beef and veal supplies in 1968 are expected to be a little below those in 1967. It is too early to give a similar indication for 1969.

Sir Clive Bossom

When he is considering 1969, will the Minister consider doubling this year's target, because farmers are willing and able to produce more? Has he really taken into account devaluation, the serious loss due to foot-and-mouth disease and the heavy cost of imports?

Mr. Hoy

I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree that it is a little too early to be considering next year's Annual Price Review. Of course, we want to increase our own production and we have been giving thought to that.

Sir W. Bromley-Davenport

How does the Minister expect to get a major and continuous expansion in production without introducing the levy system?

Mr. Hoy

The levy system has been considered. It has been suggested by hon. Members opposite and many others. All that I am saying is that, whether we have one or not, we must seek to make British agriculture strong in its own right.