Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Pig and Bacon Industry.

Thursday, 8 July 1954

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 146 No. 10

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Mr. M.P. Murphy: Information on Michael Pat Murphy  Zoom on Michael Pat Murphy  asked the Minister for Agriculture whether, in view of the present precarious position of the pig and bacon industry, he will make a statement as to the policy of his Department.

Mr. O. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan  Zoom on Oliver J. 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: Information on Michael Pat Murphy  Zoom on Michael Pat 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: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan  Zoom on Oliver J. 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 [1464] 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: Information on Michael Pat Murphy  Zoom on Michael Pat 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.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  The Parliamentary Secretary, in his reply, adverted to an arrangement made last month. Was it in the month of May that that arrangement was made? Could the Parliamentary Secretary say?

Mr. O. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan  Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan  Yes.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  It was in May then?

Mr. O. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan  Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan  May. The reply the Minister gave was in June. He was referring to the arrangement made in the month previous—May.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  It was made by the present Minister's predecessor in office.

Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Cosgrave): Information on Liam Cosgrave  Zoom on Liam Cosgrave  On foot of the 1951 Agreement.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers  Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers  It was modified in June then.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave  Zoom on Liam Cosgrave  Subsidiary to the 1951 Agreement. If Deputy Childers [1465] wanted to ask the question he should have put it down himself.


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