HC Deb 08 December 1965 vol 722 cc107-8W
Mr. Charles R. Morris

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what decisions he has reached on the total minimum quantity and the shares allotted to participants in the Bacon Market Sharing Understanding next year; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peart

After consultation with the Bacon Market Council, the Government have determined that the total minimum quantity within the Understanding for the year beginning 1st April, 1966, shall be 632,500 tons. This compares with 620,600 tons for the current year. The reserve quantity will remain unchanged at 35,000 tons.

With regard to the shares of individual countries, supplies from the Netherlands and Yugoslavia are falling well short of their present allocations. After consultation with these countries we have therefore decided that the share of the Netherlands shall be reduced next year from 13,000 to 5,000 tons, and that of Yugoslavia from 5,000 to 1,500 tons. The quantities drawn from these two countries, totalling 11,500 tons, will be divided between the other participants in proportion to their existing shares, which is the only course compatible with the Understanding.

So far as the United Kingdom is concerned, the effect of these two changes will be as follows. First, our share will be slightly increased, from 36.17 per cent. to 36.88 per cent. Secondly, the minimum quantity of bacon that our industry will be entitled to supply will be increased by 8,740 tons or nearly 4 per cent.

We should have wished to be able to claim a larger increase in our share. Within the terms of the Understanding, however, we could not do so without evidence of a significant change in market conditions in favour of United Kingdom bacon compared with imported supplies. Only the industry itself could bring about such a change, and although we considered carefully the evidence before us, we had to conclude that no such claim could be established.

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