Thursday, 8 July 1954
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. O. Flanagan: I would refer the Deputy to the statement made in reply to a question from Deputy Finucane on this subject on the 24th June. There is no ground for the suggestion that the pig and bacon industry is in a precarious position.
Mr. M.P. Murphy: Would the Parliamentary Secretary consider advising the Department to withdraw the monopoly in the trade which the bacon factories now enjoy and thus leave pigs to be sold in a free and competitive market, which would be of immense benefit to producers and no loss whatever to consumers? I feel sure the Parliamentary Secretary is aware that that free and competitive market does not exist for pigs in this country at the present time.
Mr. O. Flanagan: The Minister pointed out to Deputy Finucane in the House on the 24th June that, with the prospect of lowering feeding costs, it was considered that pig production will be maintained on a profitable basis and  that under the Pigs and Bacon Agreement, 1951, with Britain, the price paid by the Ministry of Food for our exports will continue to be linked up for at least two years with the price guaranteed to the British farmer. Arrangements were made under the agreement last month whereby our exports to the British Ministry of Food will in future take the form of bacon as bulk purchases of fresh meat are ceasing in Britain. These arrangements preserve the fundamental price relationship established by the 1951 agreement and there will be no limit to the quantity of bacon that may be sold to the British Ministry of Food. There is, therefore, an assured market for our entire exportable surplus.
Mr. M.P. Murphy: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that pig production is definitely regarded as being an uneconomic proposition at the present time, that that is the general viewpoint of all pig producers in this country, from Cork to Donegal? I believe there is an obligation on the Department to define their policy if that industry is to be kept alive.
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