HC Deb 07 April 1971 vol 815 cc432-3
21. Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider taking steps to insert a Scottish body into the administration of meat production.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I presume that my hon. Friend is referring to the Meat and Livestock Commission. I have no reason to believe that Scottish interests are not adequately served through its existing organisation.

Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

Is not my hon. Friend aware that Scotland has made a better job of livestock production than has any other country for at least 100 years, and that livestock production is a more important part of Scottish agriculture than English livestock production is of English agriculture? If a body of this kind is necessary, why not a Scottish body?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

This body also performs English functions, and I remind my hon. Friend that it has a very strong Scottish office and two very active Scottish members who do an excellent job looking after the interests of Scottish producers?

Mr. Douglas

Would the hon. Gentleman ensure that whatever organisation is interposed consumers in Scotland are not fleeced by high prices for meat products by the changes in the levy system and by the present opportunism of livestock producers and butchers?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I remind the hon. Gentleman, in case he does not know, that the Commission has a consumers' committee, on which there is a Scottish member. I assure him that housewives and consumers generally in Scotland have their interests safeguarded by the present Government.