As a result of higher production of barley on the Continent, including France, it had been expected that exports from the United Kingdom would be lower this season than last. It is not possible to isolate the effect of this on the home market price, nor to assess at present the effect of sterling devaluation on United Kingdom barley exports.
Does the Minister not believe that this rise in production of barley abroad, coupled with low consumption at home because of foot-and-mouth disease, is due to lower profitability of livestock? Does he not think it will mean a sharp decrease in profits for the barley farmer? What is he going to do about it?
The hon. Member should not be so pessimistic. We do not underestimate the fall in the number of cattle as a result of this most unfortunate outbreak, but I do not think we should use that for this purpose. After all, the guarantee is there and I am certain that those who grow barley are appreciative of it.