HC Deb 24 March 1958 vol 585 cc2-3W
Lieut.-Colonel Bromley - Davenport

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the fact that, under present conditions, the pork market in this country is supplied almost entirely by home-produced pigs, whereas the bacon market is supplied more by Continental than by home pigs, he will take steps to introduce a separate calculation for the subsidy on bacon pigs to operate when bacon prices fall below a stated level, such level being based on the price of imported bacon.

Mr. John Hare

The reasons which I gave in my letter of 21st February to Sir James Turner, circulated with my reply to the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) on 27th February, for not accepting the proposal for a separate guaranteed price for bacon pigs and other pigs apply equally to the suggestion made by my hon. and gallant Friend.

Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that the number of bacon carcases put into cure during the five weeks of December were 47,541 as against 51,153 for the same period in 1956–57, whilst during the four weeks of January the numbers were 45,365 as against 48,644 for the same period in 1956–57; and on what grounds the recent deputation to him from the farming industry was informed that the bacon-curing industry is obtaining a larger number of pigs than it did a year ago.

Mr. John Hare

The weekly average numbers of pigs put into cure by bacon factories in Great Britain during December, 1956, and 1957, and January, 1957, and 1958, are as stated by my hon. and gallant Friend except that the figure for December, 1956, is 46,900 pigs and not 51,153 pigs.

The figures referred to at the meeting with representatives of the farming and bacon curing industries, however, related to the total numbers of pigs delivered to bacon factories in Great Britain during these periods. The weekly average figures are:

1956–57 1957–58
December 66,000 74,800
January 65,000 69,700

A substantial proportion of the pigs obtained by bacon factories are used for purposes other than the production of bacon, and these cannot be ignored in any discussion of the state of the industry.