asked the Minister of Food whether he will investigate the present system of disposal of Devon-produced beef under which the better grades are sent away to other areas and inferior grades allocated for local consumption.
No, Sir: people in Devon are receiving fair proportions of the different grades of locally produced beef.
Does the Minister appreciate that the explanation I have given is the only possible one to meet all the facts? Will he come round some of the markets with me so that I may show him what is happening, provided he does not tell anyone except myself, in advance, that he is coming?
I have examined the figures and they show that proportions are roughly the same in the case of grade A meat retained in Devon and of grade A meat sent outside the county.
asked the Minister of Food if he is now able to revoke the Meat Products and Canned Meat (Control and Maximum Prices) Order, 1948, and the Meat Products and Canned Meat (Amendment) Order, 1949, in view of the more adequate supply of manufacturing meat.
My right hon. Friend is considering this matter, but cannot make any announcement at present.
Is the Minister aware that it is the opinion of the trade that if these Orders were rescinded it would be possible for the public to obtain better products at lower prices?
No, I am not so aware.
asked the Minister of Food if he is aware of the dissatisfaction in Birmingham with the quality of meat supplied in recent weeks; and what steps he proposes to take to improve the quality.
The only complaint which has come to my notice is in respect of a quantity of manufacturing meat. While all the meat distributed has been suitable for manufacture, I am ensuring that the differing types and qualities are distributed as fairly as possible.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that over the past two months some of the meat which has been available in Birmingham has been of the very worst quality? Why should people have to pay the same price for inferior mutton as for good mutton? Would he call the trade into consultation for the purpose of avoiding having to purchase this inferior meat?
The instance which gave rise to this Question related to bull beef, and from inquiries we have made I think there was an undue proportion of bull beef in the allocation. We are taking steps to see that this does not happen again.