HC Deb 26 April 1972 vol 835 cc311-2W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that new season English lamb was virtually unobtainable to the British housewife during the week commencing 16th April due to this being exported for sale in France at double the British price, and that New Zealand lamb had to be purchased; to what extent on Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community this situation will change; and whether he will take action to solve the problem.

Mr. Prior

New season English lamb is normally in short supply and high priced at this time of year. Although our lamb exports have been increasing, total available supplies of new season English lamb recently have been higher than at the same period last year. Prices on the French market do not appear to have been high enough to cover transport and other costs for new season lamb; and exports have been mainly of last season's lamb. In the spring consumers have a wide choice available to them of New Zealand lamb, some of last year's United Kingdom lamb crop, and the first of this year's lambs; and I expect a similar choice to be available after our accession to the enlarged Community.