HL Deb 11 May 1964 vol 258 cc11-3

2.55 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the Calf Subsidies (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Scheme, 1964, a draft of which was laid before this House on April 23, be approved. The purpose of this Scheme is to implement the increase of 10s. in the subsidy for steer calves born on and after January 1, 1964, which was announced in this year's Annual Review. I do not think I need detain your Lordships for long, but there are two points that I should make. First, the date—January 1—has been deliberately chosen to include all spring-born calves and to benefit the rearer of steer calves of the beef breeds, the great majority of which are born before April. On previous occasions when the calf subsidy has been changed on April 1, there have been objections that it was not sensible to do this in the middle of the spring calving season and, indeed, that it might put a strain on the honesty of applicants. We hope that we have done better this time.

My other point is to draw attention to the fact that the Scheme we are amending covers calves born only up to and including October 29, 1964. In case of any misunderstanding, I should repeat that, as stated in the Annual Review White Paper, the calf subsidy scheme is to be continued for a further three years from that date. That, of course, will mean a Motion in due course to approve a new Scheme laid before the House in draft. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Draft Calf Subsidies (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Scheme, 1964, laid before the House on April 23 last, be approved.—(Earl Ferrers.)


My Lords, there are just one or two questions that I would ask the noble Earl. He mentioned that this Scheme dealt with calves born before October 29, 1964. I conclude that the Government have in mind, as the noble Earl indicated, that further Schemes will be brought in after October 29, 1964; because it is obvious that calves born in April this year, or in May or June, will not be able to come under the Scheme since they will not become eight months old until beyond the October date. It seems to me that if payment is to be made in respect of these a new Scheme will have to come into operation.

There is another point. The Minister in another place estimated that the additional cost by reason of this Scheme, by increases in subsidy, would he a quarter of a million pounds. The Price Review suggested that it might be half a million pounds. I conclude that the difference between a quarter of a million and half a million is brought about by the probable addition of extra calves which are now being born year by year. It is obvious that the figures increase, as they have increased most considerably in the course of years; and the probability is that the calf population will increase as the years go by. That possibly accounts for the additional cost of between a quarter and half a million pounds.


My Lords, of course the Scheme which this Order amends refers to calves which are born on or after April 1. Although you may not submit your calf to certification until after October, if the calf is born after January 1, then you are entitled to collect the grant. The estimated cost of this Scheme in 1964–65 will be in the region of half a million pounds, and in a full year it is expected it will be about three-quarters of a million pounds.

On Question, Motion agreed to.