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Bacon Pigs (Guaranteed Prices)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 28 July 1954

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25.

asked the Minister of Food if he will withdraw the guaranteed prices for bacon pigs until a free market is restored between the farmer and the bacon curers.

No, Sir. The guaranteed prices are paid to implement an undertaking to producers. The method of sale does not affect their purpose or necessity.

May I ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether he and his right hon. and gallant Friend are really very happy about the present arrangements which have been in force since 1st July? Will he say to what extent there is a monopoly as a result of the agreement between the Fat Stock Marketing Corporation and the bacon curers, and how many bacon curers are now outside that agreement?

My right hon. Friend's responsibility is to implement the guarantee, whether to the individual producer or to producers formed together in a voluntary organisation like the Fat Stock Marketing Corporation. The issue which the hon. Gentleman has in mind is not the concern of my right hon. Friend, and it might appropriately be put to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that, in the matter of the production of bacon pigs, in which quality and uniformity are all important, it is very desirable that these pigs should be sold through a marketing organisation rather than by the method of auction sales?