§ 6. Mr. Buchanan-Smith
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will revise upwards the selective expansion programme to take account of the new situation created by devaluation.
§ 13. Mr. Marten
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what fresh proposals he has for increasing home-produced food; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the Prime Minister's statement on 19th November that farm production would be stimulated and imports saved? What positive action have the Government taken to give farmers the proper incentive?
§ Mr. Marten
When the bacon agreement comes up for review, will the Minister seek a larger share of the bacon market for the British producer in order to save imports?
§ Mr. Peart
This is something I must bear in mind. One of our difficulties previously has been to maintain our percentage. I have increased the guarantee for pigs and I introduced new proposals to help the industry which have been 345 accepted by it, so that altogether I want o make the industry much more viable, strengthened and expanded.
§ Mr. Turton
Does the Minister appreciate that the proposals in the Review make no provision for the kind of import-saving programme the Prime Minister mentioned in November? Will he reconsider this matter in the light of the Prime Minister's undertaking?
§ Mr. Peart
The two pertinent questions of import saving and the nature of support for the industry are matters which we shall discuss this year. I hope that right hon. and hon. Members opposite will appreciate that we have many international obligations. I have challenged the right hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Godber) so often. Is it the view of the Opposition that we should end all our trade with countries like New Zealand?
§ 21. Mr. Jopling
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on the progress of the selective expansion programme.
§ Mr. Jopling
Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that if agriculture had the chance, it would be capable of doing much better than the selective expansion programme which the Government have laid down for it?
§ 23. Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what contribution agriculture has made to import saving in each Price Review year since the publication of the 346 selective expansion plan; and what contributions it is expected to make in the forthcoming year.
§ Mr. Irvine
Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied to leave imports at the level of £1,600 million a year without taking more urgent action than he is taking?
§ Mr. Peart
I announced a long time ago and I have repeatedly told the Opposition that we have a selective expansion programme which aims to meet the increased demand for food of £200 million by 1971 and that the greater part of this demand will be met from home production. My last two Price Reviews, which have been successful, have been designed to achieve this.
§ Sir J. Langford-Holt
The right hon. Gentleman spoke of a proposed increase in demand. Does he mean an increased percentage of those products which we can produce ourselves at home?
§ Mr. Manuel
Will my right hon. Friend remember that many farmers face increased expenses because of bad marketing arrangements and steeply increased auctioneers' fees? Could he not make more sensible marketing arrangements and so do away with auctioneers and save money?