§ 14. Sir Clive Bossom
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what incentives he now proposes to give British agriculture to increase beef production in order to reduce imports from the Argentine.
§ Mr. Hoy
The determinations at this year's Annual Review can leave no possible doubt about our intention to encourage the increase in beef production which is a key part of our programme for selective expansion. But whilst recognising the contribution this can make to import saving generally, it is not directed towards cutting out imports from specific countries.
§ Sir Clive Bossom
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that the present incentives are still not enough if he wants real expansion? Does he accept that the imbalance of the trade figures has been three-to-one and was two-to-one last year? Above all, there is a terrifying risk to health. Would he introduce a form of levy system, which I am sure would help?
§ Mr. Hawkins
Is the Minister aware that there will be no increase in production of fat cattle in East Anglia? Possibly there might even be a decrease, as the costs have risen so high.
§ Mr. Manuel
Is my hon. Friend aware that no industry can expect to get everything handed to it on a plate? Hon. Members opposite seem to be arguing for the complete elimination of any risk in agriculture.
§ Mr. Hoy
I remind the House once more that 15s. was given on the end price. Hill and beef cow subsidies went up another £1 on top of substantial increases last year. I know that this section of the farming community will be very much encouraged by those subsidies, and that the industry will be prepared to take the risks and consequences of weather conditions, as it must.