§ 21. Major HUNT
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his attention has been called to the account of a small holder who sent about 5 tons of vegetables to Covent Garden Market, where the price allowed was £20, from which was deducted about £10 for railway carriage for 40 miles and for other expenses; and, in view of the fact that the consumers would have to pay about £50 for the £10 worth of vegetables, can he say what steps he proposes to take to prevent the producers and consumers from being mulcted in this way?
§ Mr. CLYNES
I have investigated this matter, and it appears that the low price realised was due to the inferior quality of the consignment. The salesmen are paid by commission; the railway carriage was just over £2; and the only unnecessary charge was for cartage from station at 10s. a ton, which would have been avoided if the vegetables had been consigned to a firm at St. Pancras or King's Cross. I can only add that in growing vegetables a certain standard of quality must be reached before any profit can be obtained.
§ Major HUNT
Does the hon. Gentleman allow that half the price is taken by the railway companies and other people; was not the produce more than ½d. per lb.; and is he aware that you would pay more than that for pig food?
§ Mr. CLYNES
I am assured that the quality of the consignment was very inferior. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will read the terms of my reply, he will see that the figures in the reply are totally different from those in the question.