HC Deb 16 October 1968 vol 770 cc349-50
1. Mr. Monro

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the current level of returns to dairy farmers; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Cledwyn Hughes)

The level of returns to milk producers is a matter for the Farm Price Review, at which all the relevant factors are taken into account.

Mr. Monro

Will not the Minister agree that the modest increase given at the Price Review has been entirely swallowed up by rising costs this summer; and that dairy farmers are going through a very difficult lime at this moment?

Mr. Hughes

Milk production has been running high this year, as the hon. Member knows, and there are good prospects of a recovery in prices during the winter. A prediction I can make is that average prices for the year April-March should be about the same as last year.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is it not true that some of these dairy farmers are passing through a very difficult time because they are having to pay too much rent?

Mr. Hughes

If my hon. Friend will put down a Question to me on that aspect, I shall be glad to answer.