Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Pork and Bacon Prices.

asked the Minister for Supplies whether the estimated cost of converting pork into bacon is 28/- per cwt., and, if so, whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the price of 160/- per cwt. at present charged for green bacon when current price of pork is 111/- deadweight at the factory.

The cost of converting pork into bacon varies considerably, depending largely on the volume of output, the efficiency of the individual bacon factory, and to a certain extent the location of the factory. The average, however, may be taken at present to be somewhat less than 28/- per cwt. I am advised that a reasonable yield of bacon from pork is 75 per cent., so that the prime cost of green bacon is about 150/- per cwt. when it is kept in mind that a percentage of pigs is purchased at liveweight prices. The conversion charge has to be added to this figure, as well as such items as wholesalers' allowances and the receipts from offals deducted. The prices of bacon are constantly under review in my Department in the light of the changing factors in the industry, but I am satisfied that the present price of 160/- per cwt. of green bacon delivered to a retail merchant is reasonable.

Based on 100, so that the Minister has now declared that, in his judgment, the conversion cost of pork into bacon should be in the order of 49/- per cwt.

The difference between the average price paid for pigs deadweight and the average cost for green Wiltshire bacon should be 49/-.

The Deputy misunderstood me. On the assumption that pork yields 75 per cent. of its weight of bacon, the prime cost of the bacon is 150/-. The conversion cost is somewhat less than the 28/- mentioned by the Deputy, but there are other factors which indicate that 160/- is not unreasonable.

Although the price of pork is 111/-?

But you do not get the same weight of bacon.

But you get over the cost by the sale of offals in various forms.

And that is taken into account.

Are we to assume that the Minister for Supplies now determines that, having taken these factors into account, he considers the margin between the price of pork and that of green Wiltshire bacon is equitable?

In present circumstances, yes.

If Dáil Eireann stands for that, it will stand for anything.