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Cases From United States (Pilfering)

Volume 390: debated on Wednesday 30 June 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that retailers are complaining that cases of pork luncheon meat imported from the United States of America contain bricks, apparently packed to fill up space, and that drain pipes are found in cases of tinned salmon; and what action is being taken to remedy this and protect retailers here?

I am aware that tins of canned meats and canned fish are pilfered occasionally and that foreign bodies are sometimes inserted to fill the gaps so caused in the cases. The volume of complaint from retailers on this score is negligible. Retailers generally have no difficulty in obtaining reimbursement from their suppliers for the lost goods on presentation of satisfactory evidence.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these bricks, worth a penny, are substituted for meat which costs 15s. to the consumer?

As I say, we have had very few complaints, and we cannot avoid a certain amount of pilfering. It does not appear that these foreign bodies have a foreign origin.