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Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the difficulty which many butchers throughout the country are experiencing in providing the meat ration, he will now state if the Government have been able to make arrangements for an adequate supply of meat to be available for the remaining months of 1947.

I am satisfied that the trade have sufficient meat from which to cut the ration and also to make some sausages. We shall import as much meat as possible but it remains to be seen whether we can get enough to fill the gap made in home production by the great frost.

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that there were exceptionally heavy killings of livestock at home in the autumn? Is he further aware that our cold storage position is very bad in this country, and does he intend to allow us to drift into a meat crisis without giving any warning?

No, Sir. I have given warning of the difficulties caused by the gap in home production on many occasions, and I am doing so again this afternoon.

But does the right hon. Gentleman intend to do something constructive to help?


asked the Minister of Food the average monthly weight of beef consigned from Aberdeenshire to other distributing centres during the last six months, and the average monthly weight retained for local consumption.


asked the Minister of Food when he will restore the cut which general butchers were called upon to make by relinquishing their total manufacturing meat allocation, in order to enable the meat ration to be maintained at 1s 4d.

As soon as supplies permit, but I cannot accept the hon. Member's implication that butchers have lost the whole of their manufacturing allowance.

Is the Minister aware that in actual fact the general butchers have no manufacturing meat left and often have to issue unsuitable meat for the ration, and as the present shortage may continue, would the Minister consider allocating a small proportion of the domestic meat ration for processing in the interests of feeding people better and also so that the housewives may have something to buy in the middle of the week?

Some meat is, of course, used for manufacturing purposes. It is not entirely used for the ration. Apart from any meat which the butchers can spare for manufacturing, other meat goes direct to the manufacturers, but I do not think that anything would be gained by adding to that proportion.

Is the Minister aware that the test for cutting a carcase proved that the butcher could not get the number of rations out of the carcase which the Minister has told him to do?

No, Sir. I am quite satisfied that that statement is without foundation.