§ Mr. Douglas Henderson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the availability of baler twine and the prices at which it is being sold currently compared with a year ago.
§ Mr. Meacher
I have been asked to reply.
Production of baler twine is about the same level as last year. To make up for shortages of sisal the main United Kingdom manufacturer is increasing synthetic twine production and in agreement with the unions is working through the annual holidays. Absolute priority is being given to meeting the needs of British farmers and for the present no twine is exported. I believe the allegation of hoarding by dealers to be unfounded. Allocations based on normal levels of demand are being made locally in accordance with the timetable of the harvest. I am satisfied that everything possible is being done to provide adequate and timely deliveries.
As to prices, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel) on 30th April 1974.—[Vol. 872, c. 452.]