HC Deb 18 May 1908 vol 188 cc1658-9

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the fact that Messrs. Armour and Company, meat packers of Chicago, are calling up £1,000,000 new capital for the purpose of opening in London and the provinces retail shops for the direct supply of their meat to the consumer, avoiding Smithfield market and the tolls and charges there levied; and will he say whether he proposes to take any steps, by legislation or otherwise, to prevent a scheme which will destroy the business of English butchers and meat salesmen, who cannot compete with American packers permitted to trade on such terms.


I understand from Messrs. Armour that the Company have not called up any new capital, and that they have no intention of opening retail shops in London or the provinces.


Can the right hon. Gentleman state how many butchers' and meat salesmen's businesses in Smithfield and elsewhere have already been acquired or financed with the object of obtaining such control as to compel them to sell imported American beef alone?


That is a very important Question, and I could do more justice to it if the hon. Gentleman would give me notice.

MR. WATT (Glasgow, College)

Will the right hon. Gentleman introduce legislation to permit the free importation of Canadian cattle?


Order, order.

SIR F. BANBURY (City of London)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he intends to protect the trade of English butchers?


That is a Question of which I must have notice.