HC Deb 19 January 1971 vol 809 cc711-2
24. Mr. Wellbeloved

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of home-produced beef and lamb for 1971; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

As a result of heavy marketings of fat stock in the last quarter of 1970, home beef production in the calendar year 1971 is expected to be some 3 per cent. lower than in 1970. Lamb production is likely to be about 7 per cent. less.

Mr. Wellbeloved

Is it not the case that, during recent years, the producers have consistently overestimated their contribution towards meat production in this country? Will the hon. Gentleman take more seriously the views of consumers rather than the views of the vested interests of the N.F.U.?

Mr. Stodart

I urge the hon. Gentleman to realise that his questions about calendar years can be extremely misleading. There were heavy marketings of beef in the autumn of last year, which will undoubtedly offset numbers this year, whereas lamb marketings were held back in the autumn and will not come through until 1971. Therefore, to use a calendar year as a basis can be most misleading.

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