HC Deb 22 November 1956 vol 560 cc97-8W
Mr. J. E. B. Hill

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is now able to announce details of the new fatstock guarantee arrangements which are to be introduced on 25th March. 1957.

Mr. Amory

After full consultation with representatives of the producers, a new method of calculating the guarantee for all classes of fatstock has now been decided on. In order to take account of variations in costs and marketing, the standard prices for cattle and sheep will be on a seasonal scale. The standard price for pigs will be the same throughout the year. Guarantees will be announced in advance for each week and payments will be made weekly. The rate of payment will be the amount by which the standard price for the week exceeds the average of the latest four weeks' actual market prices and the estimated market prices for the following four weeks.

This method should ensure that over the year the average return comes close to the standard price. It should also prevent violent divergencies of the average weekly return from the standard price for the week. However, in order to guard against abnormal price movements the stabilising arrangements introduced this year will be continued. The standard prices, seasonal scales and stabilising limits for the next fatstock year beginning on 25th March, 1957, will be determined in the light of the next Annual Review. The new method is fully endorsed by the producers' representatives as being well devised in the light of experience since decontrol to remedy weaknesses in the guarantee system.