HC Deb 16 November 1971 vol 826 c202
13. Mr. Charles Morrison

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to expand beef production.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Action taken since the Government took office has been effective in strengthening confidence and encouraging expansion in beef production. We will consider at the 1972 Annual Review whether further action is needed to further this desirable objective.

Mr. Morrison

Bearing in mind the worldwide down-turn in livestock production as well as the fact that the raw material of beef production from dairy herds will be affected adversely by the reduction in the number of in-calf heifers, does my hon. Friend think that beef output in this country will be able to cope with the demand?

Mr. Stodart

The beef herd is continuing to grow. Store prices are extremely high, and there is every reason for great optimism in respect of that commodity.

Mr. Deakins

At the 1972 Review, will the hon. Gentleman be able to ensure that beef expansion comes more from the beef herd than from the dairy herd, with all the perils which might be incurred in the latter course?

Mr. Stodart

At this stage, I do not wish to express any assurance about what the 1972 Review will contain.