HC Deb 22 November 1917 vol 99 cc1334-5
Mr. BYRNE (by Private Notice)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food if he is aware that Irish traders are unable, for the past week, to obtain supplies of butter in Ireland at price fixed by Food Controller, if he is aware that the reason stated is that cross-channel buyers are paying more than the permitted price; if he will state what steps his Department propose to take to deal with the giver and receiver of illegal prices for food supplies?


No shortage of butter in Ireland has been reported to the Food Controller. Prosecutions have already been instituted for infringement of the Butter Orders in Ireland and in Great Britain; other prosecutions are pending. Every effort is being made to ensure compliance with the terms of the Order both in Ireland and in Great Britain.


Will the hon. Gentleman's Department make inquiries as to those who bought the butter this week, and find out the price they paid for it?


The Department could hardly undertake to find out who bought butter in particular districts. What we desire in the Department is that where infringements of the Order are suspected, those who have information should at once apply to the Department, and we will act upon it.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a deputation from Ireland waited upon the Food Controller over three weeks ago, and pointed out that there was a complete scarcity in Ireland; and if he is unaware of that, will he make inquiries?


The question of scarcity is a different matter from the subject covered by the question, which is one of alleged selling of the article above the price fixed by the Food Controller.

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