HC Deb 19 January 1971 vol 809 cc705-6
15. Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he will take to limit the import of eggs during the height of the laying season, and to ensure that home-produced eggs are not priced out of the market by the export of eggs sold well below domestic prices at country of origin

Mr. Anthony Stodart

The home industry is protected against imports at unduly low prices by minimum import prices.

Mr. Osborn

Has my hon. Friend had time to study the representations from the Sheffield and Rotherham branch of the N.F.U., members of which are finding it difficult to sell their eggs at this time of year against imports arising from barter agreements? Will my hon. Friend watch such barter agreements in the future and ensure that the products come into the country at prices that do not damage the home market?

Mr. Stodart

Yes, Sir. I have done so. I apologise to my hon. Friend for not replying to him sooner. He will get a letter from me this evening.

27. Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will consider a rise in the minimum import prices for eggs and egg products, in order to preserve the stability of the shell egg market in the United Kingdom; and whether he will consider an adjustment in the ratio between the minimum import prices for dried egg and frozen whole egg.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

The minimum import prices for shell eggs, frozen egg, and dried egg will shortly be fully reviewed in accordance with our understandings with overseas suppliers, and the minimum import prices for shell eggs are in any case due to be raised by 2d. a dozen in March.

28. Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much has been received from levies on egg imports so far this year.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

£87,000 was collected between April and November, 1970.

Mr. Howell

In view of his Replies, may I ask my hon. Friend whether he will consider reviewing the whole of the egg levy system?

Mr. Stodart

I do not think that we can review the whole of the system, but there is a review of the minimum import prices in the first quarter of each year, and that will take place in the way I have stated.