asked the Minister of Food if he will state the price of poultry and game at Christmas, 1949, and for the present period.
The controlled maximum retail prices of dressed poultry at Christmas, 1949, were: 4s. a lb. for poultry other than turkeys and poussins, 5s. 3d. a lb. for home-produced turkeys, 4s. 4d. a lb. for imported turkeys and 4s. 9d. a bird for poussins. The price of game birds was not controlled. On a free market, there are now substantial variations in price, from day to day, in different parts of the country, and according to quality, so that it would be misleading to give any figures; but prices are generally higher than last year.
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the bitter resentment on the part of a large number of consumers at the prices now being charged, and will he consider importing sufficient quantities in order to break the racket in which home producers are now indulging?
I am aware of that dissatisfaction and disquiet. As I said a day or two ago, I am looking into the question of the possibility of further importations.
In view of the fact that the increase is largely caused by scarcity, will the Minister explain what he meant at his Press conference the other day when he said that turkeys were not to be imported from Hungary for political reasons? What are these political reasons?