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Eggs

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1943

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55.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food how many persons are employed in carrying out the Government egg scheme; how many of these are of military age; and what does he estimate will be the cost of the scheme to the Exchequer during the present and coming financial years, respectively?

It will take some time to obtain this information. I am, however, having particulars extracted so far as they are available and will write to my hon. and gallant Friend as soon as possible.

56.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food the number of imported and home-produced eggs in shell, respectively, which have passed through the Government collecting stations during the last year and the percentage of loss through breakage, etc.; and, in the case of home-produced eggs, the average time intervening between the date of leaving the farm and of purchase by the consumer?

It is not in the public interest to disclose figures of imports and home production during the war period. The loss through breakage, etc., is negligible. It is impossible to give an average time intervening between the date when eggs leave the farm and when they are purchased by the consumer. Under the most favourable conditions it is as little as two or three days, and generally, I am advised, it is less than pre-war.

57.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food the average number of eggs to which each inhabitant of the United Kingdom was entitled during the last year as the result of the Government egg scheme?

The number of shell eggs to which each inhabitant of the United Kingdom was entitled during 1942 was for each priority consumer about 116, and for each non-priority consumer about 29.

From all these figures which my hon. Friend has given is it not clear that the Government scheme for eggs is not only a terrific charge on the Exchequer, but it simply does not produce the release of the eggs to which a person is entitled?