asked the Minister of Food what action he proposes to take on the decontrol of meat regarding the slaughterhouses recently built by the Government.
In accordance with the undertaking given when these places were built, the local authorities concerned have been given an option to acquire the premises for use as public slaughterhouses.
In view of the difficulties which may arise about the use of these slaughterhouses, will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman endeavour to clarify the position in each case so that there can be no question of their not being fully used when the time comes later in the year?
The local authorities have been consulted on this matter and are now looking into the proposals.
Will the Minister of Food say on what terms and conditions these slaughterhouses will be subject To the local authorities?
That is under consideration now. The right hon. Gentleman will remember that when the slaughterhouses were originally built the local authorities were given the first option. It is those terms, to which the right hon. Gentleman referred, which we are now discussing.
Has my right hon. and gallant Friend set any date by which the local authorities shall exercise the option? It is most important that if they are not to take up the option some other body of farmers, butchers and others should have the facilities.
I am fully alive to what is in the mind of my hon. Friend, and I am hopeful that after these meetings we shall be able to come to a decision.