Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Lamb Prices.

20.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he is satisfied that factories are giving a fair price for lambs, in view of the fact that the price quoted has dropped by 3p to 5p per pound.

It is usual for lamb prices to decline at this time of the year and I have no reason to believe that factories are not paying fair prices at present. These prices are in fact higher than this time last year.

Is the Minister aware that there has been a further decrease this week? Does the Minister not consider that the drop has exceeded any normal seasonal drop in the price of lambs?

Again, I say that there is no way that I can compel factory buyers of lambs to pay a higher price. It is purely competition. There are many factories in the business and if competition does not do it there is no way I can do it.

Can the Minister not have some control over whether he takes the cattle or sheep?

That is a separate question.