§ Mr. Buchan
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will now make a statement about financial assistance for the red meat slaughtering industry.
§ Mr. John Silkin
I am pleased to be able to announce that, in agreement with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry, £20 million is being provided under the Industry Act 1972 for a scheme of assistance to the red meat slaughtering industry. The scheme has been drawn up following a submission made by industry representatives.
This scheme has been designed to help the industry to press ahead with an investment programme to raise standards of hygiene and efficiency in handling home-produced fatstock and also to equip itself 108W to participate fully in intra-Community trade. The slaughtering industry is a vital link in the meat marketing chain and its improved operation will benefit our producers and consumers as well as the meat trade itself. Details of the scheme are set out in notes which have been prepared for the guidance of applicants, and I am placing copies of this document in the Library of the House.