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Fatstock (Grading And Deadweight Scheme)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 28 July 1954

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29.

asked the Minister of Food if he will make a statement on the operation of his Department's fatstock grade and deadweight scheme during the first three weeks of meat decontrol; if he is satisfied that generally the supply of home-killed meat and the demand are settling on a basis that is fair to producers and consumers; and if he can give a current estimate of the subsidy payments on account of the collective guaranteed payments and the guaranteed individual prices.

There are now official graders at 166 centres and some 160 wholesalers are registered under the scheme. The answer to the second part of the Question within the limits of experience to date is, "Yes, Sir." As regards the third part, I would refer my hon. Friend to the Departmental Estimates which included £34·7 million for the nine months ending next March.

Will my hon. Friend tell us whether an increasing number of farmers are making use of the Ministry's grading and deadweight scheme as an alternative to the auctions or the Fat Stock Marketing Corporation?

It is a little early, after only three weeks, to measure trends of that kind.