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Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1950

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asked the Minister of Food what quantity of chickens he has in stock; and how much profit or loss he has made on his poultry dealings since 1st January, 1950.

I do not think it would be either prudent or in the public interest to disclose our present stocks of chickens; and until we have cleared our stocks of poultry, I cannot say what our profit or loss will be.

Will the Minister call for a special report on this transaction from the Comptroller and Auditor-General? May I ask him why he is able to gamble in the nation's food and money and not give an account? Will he restore this trade as soon as possible to the people who know the business?

Will the Minister say whether this total includes the chickens belonging to the Labour Party which are now coming home to roost?

In view of the rumour in the country today that there are very large numbers of chickens in store, and the uncertainty which is thus caused to the poultry producer, will the right hon. Gentleman consider issuing some statement, if only to reassure the poultry producer?

If there is any need for such a statement—I do not think there is—I will make it.