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Orders of the Day — Agriculture (Calf Subsidies)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th March 1968.

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Photo of Sir John Gilmour Sir John Gilmour , Fife East 12:00 am, 13th March 1968

I think that Part I is reasonably well understood by the farming community as a whole, but I would ask the Minister whether he really feels that Part II is being used to the extent that it might be. I do not know whether he is able to tell us what amount of money is paid out under Part I and what amount is paid out under Part II. To my mind, those who are rearing beef animals are able to buy in replacements for calves which they lose from the dairy herd and then can qualify for susidy under Part I. But this is only for those who are breeding beef, and who buy replacements for calves they need. What happens to the pure diary herds, and what happens about the large quantities of animals not considered suitable for selling to beef herds for rearing and which at the moment are slaughtered—what I think are known as "bobby" calves, but anyway are slaughtered at a very young age?

I believe that too many animals are going into the markets at too young an age and too many calves are dying from being dragged from one market to another, though they could very well be preserved and reared and could qualify under Part II. I believe there is a very real need to give greater publicity to the facilities which are available under Part II. I believe Part I is very well understood, but there is a very real need of publicity for what can be available under Part II, to see that more animals which at the moment are slaughtered at a very early age are reared to a greater age to contribute to a greater supply of beef in this country. If this were done, and if the Minister could tell us how much is paid under Part I and under Part II that would be of help in underlining how much extra could be done by more people taking advantage of the facilities available under Part II.