Speaking during the debate on the second reading of the Pigs Marketing Bill (Amendment), Dr Simpson said smuggling benefits neither farmers in Northern Ireland nor those in Ireland. He said it “upsets the basket” of any marketing program in either country and only dealers are benefiting.
Mr. Moore, the Minister of Agriculture, said it was not his department’s responsibility to tackle contraband.
“We had better leave it in the hands of customs and excise,” he noted. “I don’t think the British Treasury will remain negligent on an issue like this for very long, and I think we can trust them to take whatever action is necessary.”
He said that if they asked his ministry to cooperate in all practical steps to deal with the problem, “he [the ministry] would do it as it had done in the past ”.
Mr Moore remarked that this was just a time when the Northern Ireland market had all the supply of pigs it could cope with and ‘people from the outside’ would start ‘trying to send pigs in Northern Ireland ‘.
Moving the bill to second reading, he announced that it was proposed to reconstitute the Pig Marketing Board in Northern Ireland and that it would have binding powers over the bacon pig trade and the power to trade voluntarily from other pigs.
Mr. Moore said that the controls on the marketing of fats, which had been in effect since the beginning of 1940, ended at the end of June 1954, “and our farmers would then be free to sell their cattle, sheep and hogs. As they wish. “.
Arrangements were underway, he said, that would ensure the marketing of cattle and sheep and pork hogs through auction centers, but “the situation was different in the case of bacon pigs.”
He said: “Since the hog marketing program started in 1933, our hog producers, numbering about 60,000, used to market their fat hogs through two separate channels.
“Dead pigs had always been marketed directly for rolls and ham curers, and live pigs, until 1940, had been sold to the Pigs Marketing Board or Wiltshire curers, and since 1940 to my department acting as agent of the Ministry of Food.
He continued: ‘The National Farmers Unions of England and Scotland, and Scotland, and the Ulster Farmers’ Union have promoted a program to regulate the marketing of fat in the UK, but this system , assuming that it goes through all its stages, will not come into force until next spring, and it is to safeguard the position of our pig farmers during the interim period following the end of the control that I present this project of law.
Mr Moore said there is every indication that Northern Ireland would have “an all-time high” in pig production in 1954, with a surplus over the country’s commercial bacon needs.
He explained: “In the first four months of the year 110,000 pigs have already been shipped, compared to none in the corresponding period last year. A total of 400,000 people are expected to be shipped during the year. “
He noted that most of these pigs were light pig hogs, “and it could be that if the auction system for them was not sometimes attractive, they would be kept on the farm until they were. become baconiers ”.
The Agriculture Minister continued, “A situation could arise with the removal of control in which we have more pigs than the home bacon curing industry can absorb.
“Pigs, unlike cattle and sheep, must be marketed when they have reached the rather limited weight range for bacon production – they cannot be kept on farms.
“Although our farmers would receive the guarantee payments, there could be a situation where we could not get the pigs off our farms, which could eventually lead to chaos in late summer and early summer. fall when production peaks and the shipping space is in high demand for other inventory. “