asked the Minister of Food what were the total quantities of tinned meat shipped from the United Kingdom to Canada between 5th April, 1950, and 5th April, 1951; and to what extent this meat was suitable to augment the existing ration of this country.
According to my Department's records, about 880 tons of canned meats and meat products were exported to Canada during this period. The amount of meat in these products is negligible in relation to our ration requirements.
Is not the Minister aware that Canada is one of the best friends this country has ever had? Would it not be better to buy Canadian cheese which is available than to send them meat which is not really needed in Canada? They are good friends of ours; why not buy from them?
The hon. Gentleman has got it rather mixed up.
I have never been clearer.
Private traders producing very high quality canned meat in this country have been anxious for many years to maintain token exports to Canada, and we have continued that agreement.
Can my right hon. Friend say if the whole of this trade is in private hands?
asked the Minister of Food when the Mexican beef in gravy recently purchased by his Department was tinned.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers) on 4th April.
Is the Minister quite sure that this tinned meat is of such a quality that it will commend itself to British housewives and that it will not have to be used at considerable loss for manufacturing purposes?
I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman might read the answer to which I have referred him.
asked the Minister of Food the price at which tinned Mexican beef in gravy will be made available to the public.
Not yet, Sir.
If the Minister is able to give the price at which he has bought this meat, should he not be able to give some idea of the price at which it will be sold to the public—or are people again to be held up to ransom with rotten stuff?
At the right time the answer will be given.