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Tinned Steak (Export)

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1952

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asked the Minister of Food whether he will reconsider the permission given to export tinned steak from Manchester to Canada and other countries in view of the shortage of meat in this country.

No, Sir. Relatively little meat is used in these exports, and it would be wrong to stop a trade which is contributing to our dollar earnings.

In view of the shortage of meat in this country, does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not regard it as a mad course that meat should be tinned in Manchester and sent to Canada, where there is meat in abundance?

As the hon. Gentleman knows, a great many things which are in short supply are exported for the sake of our trade balance, and in this instance the amount involved is infinitesimal. The reason for exporting it is that it gets us in dollars very much more than its value as a raw material. To give the hon. Gentleman an idea of what it involves, the amount of meat issued per week in this country is about 21,500 tons, and the amount involved in this particular trade is 70.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this is what his noble superior meant when he made his red meat promise?