HC Deb 29 November 1967 vol 755 cc105-6W
Mr. Dobson

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he proposes to take regarding the recent rapid rise in the wholesale price of New Zealand lamb; whether he is satisfied that stocks are sufficient to avoid a shortage; what are the total stocks of meat now in store; how many days supply this represents; whether price controls have recently been considered; and whether h will make a statement.

Mr. Peart

The price of some commodities, of which lamb is one, rises and falls with changes in supply and demand; apart from any other considerations a fixed price would not normally be to the advantage of buyers. Usually any shortage of New Zealand lamb before new season's shipments arrive in mid-December is scarcely noticed because home-killed lamb is then plentiful. This year, however, the dock strike delayed and added to the transport costs of imports, and disease precautions have now made the procurement and transport to abattoirs of our own stock more difficult and expensive.

Stocks of lamb in public cold stores on 24th November were about 8,000 tons and I am satisfied that with imports still to be unloaded and home-killed lamb supplies running at over 5,000 tons a week demand will be met.