HC Deb 13 July 1959 vol 609 cc3-4W
51 and 52. Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) whether he is aware that the decision to abolish the import duty on bacon must involve economic difficulties for the British bacon curing industry; and if he will consider supporting that industry in the same way as the cotton industry; (2) what steps it is proposed to take to ensure the well-being of British pig producers in the event of the greatly increased competition from Danish bacon which will result from the abolition of the import duty thereon; and, in view of the fact that the potential market for British pigs in this country will be reduced if bacon factories are obliged to close down or limit their activities, what are his intentions to enable the bacon curing industry to survive.

Mr. John Hare

The bacon-curing industry will lose the advantage of the tariff in relation to Denmark, if it is decided to establish free trade arrangements within the Stockholm group. But I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend that the industry will continue to derive considerable benefits from the assistance to the home pig producers under the guarantees and, in particular, from the special quality premiums paid to encourage the production of bacon pigs.

As regards producers, their level of profitability depends on the guaranteed price determined at the Annal Review This will be in no way prejudiced by the Anglo-Danish Agreement and the industry has received specific assurances that any increased level of subsidy attributable to this Agreement will not be allowed in any way to influence subsequent price reviews.