asked the Minister of Food if he is yet able to make a statement about the future level of the meat ration.
It will, unfortunately, be necessary to reduce the canned corn meat ration from 4d. to 2d., thus returning to a 1s. 2d. total meat ration from 13th July. The House may remember that when the meat ration was raised to is. 4d. last July, my right hon. Friend said he hoped that it could be kept at that level throughout 1946 and possibly into the early months of 1947. We have, in fact, maintained the 1s. 4d. ration fox 6½, months of this year. The reasons that it has now to be reduced are, primarily, the fall in home production caused by this year's severe weather and heavy slaughtering last autumn, and a temporary factor, the abnormal growth of feed in recent weeks which has led farmers to delay the sale of fatstock until later in the year. If home supplies had been normal we should have been able to raise the carcase meat ration by 2d. when we reduced the canned corn meat ration—which we always knew that we should have to some time this year. It is impossible to say at present how long the ration will have to remain at is. 2d. nor how much of it will have to be issued as canned corned meat; the position is bound to be difficult for several months. The House may be assured, however, that we shall make the most determined efforts to restore it to 1s. 4d.