Meat Imports

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1967.

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Photo of Sir Arthur Irvine Sir Arthur Irvine , Liverpool Edge Hill 12:00 am, 29th November 1967

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much he estimates will be spent on imports of meat during 1967.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot predict the final cost but our imports of meat and meat preparations of all kinds from January to September cost £290 million. Of this total, imports of carcase meat and offal accounted for £132 million.

Photo of Sir Arthur Irvine Sir Arthur Irvine , Liverpool Edge Hill

Particularly after devaluation, does the Minister not think that this is a staggering figure which ought to receive immediate attention?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

It is a large figure. It has always been part of our traditional food policy to import, as well as putting an emphasis on home production. There are some people who would wish us to stop all imports, and I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite who are nodding their heads in agreement will answer this question: would they stop imports of meat from New Zealand?

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

Would the Minister consider whether it would not be advantageous now to import meat off the bone from a certain area where foot-and-mouth is endemic? It would save money and, if his advisers at Pirbright advocated it, it might afford some relief from the danger of foot-and-mouth.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I know that the right hon. Gentleman has a Question down on this subject. I hope that it will be reached. I should prefer to wait until it is reached before answering it.

Photo of Mr Bertie Hazell Mr Bertie Hazell , North Norfolk

In my right hon. Friend's Review of agricultural production, will he give added consideration to stimulating the production of home-produced meat?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

Of course, we did that in the last Review. We increased the guarantees. That was a declaration of our intention.