§ 3.27 p.m.
THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD (LORD ST. OSWALD)
My Lords, I do not think it necessary, nor do I intend, to weary your Lordships with a long speech on the Eggs (Guaranteed Prices) (Amendment) Order. Its effect is simply to extend to duck eggs the subsidy arrangements which were introduced for hen eggs at the 1963 Annual Review. Your Lordships may remember that the hen egg arrangements involved the introduction of a system based on the guaranteed price and what has been named an "indicator" price—the price which, in the Government's view, the Egg Marketing Board ought to be able to get in the market if production and demand are in reasonable balance.
Price deficiencies below the indicator price do not attract subsidy in full, but only a proportionate subsidy, with a diminishing proportion each year. The arrangements were introduced with the agreement of the Farmers' Unions, but it was not possible at the 1963 Review 857 to complete the job by considering duck eggs as well. So we left duck eggs over to the 1964 Review. In the upshot, we have decided, again with the agreement of the Unions, to extend the hen egg arrangements to cover duck eggs as well, with an indicator price in the latter case of 2s. 2d. per dozen. I might add that the duck egg subsidy is a very small one, amounting only to about £300 last year. The new arrangements are not likely to make much difference. My Lords, I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Eggs (Guaranteed Prices) (Amendment) Order, 1964, be approved.—(Lord St. Oswald.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.