Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Meat Subsidies.

18.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries the amount of subsidy paid by the British Government on Irish meat imports in the financial year 1968-69; the amount paid by the Irish Government to the exporters in same year; and the amount paid to the producers.

It is not yet possible to state the exact amount of the payment by the British Government in respect of our exports during 1968-69, as the final average rates of the guarantee payments in Britain during that year on cattle and sheep have not yet been determined. The amount will, however, be approximately £1 million. The support payments made by my Department on carcase beef and lamb exports to Britain during 1968-69 amounted to £2,411,716. The amount paid to producers who elected to receive the subsidy direct was £959.

Is the Minister satisfied that enough of this support is going to the producer?

Is the Deputy dissatisfied that it is not?

That is no way to answer.

One has to start from some basis. At a time like this, with cattle prices as they are to the producer, it is a rather strange thing to ask me whether or not enough of it is getting back. Surely the Deputy must have it in mind that enough is not getting back and that the prices are too low at the moment? Is that the Deputy's attitude? I am asking is the Deputy satisfied?

Is the Minister satisfied that they are getting enough? He is the man who is supposed to answer the question, not me.

He has not got an answer.

Where are the 5s calves now?

(Interruptions.)