HC Deb 19 February 1918 vol 103 c604

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Shipping Controller whether the Controller is aware that in nearly every steamer arriving from North and South America there is a large amount of unoccupied space, amounting in some instances to thousands of tons; whether he is aware that many of the steamers so arriving with empty space in them were originally constructed for the purpose of carrying live stock in their shelter or cattle decks; whether he is aware of the shortage of meat in this country and the inadequate supplies of chilled and frozen beef and mutton; whether he will consider the advisability of importing live cattle in these shelter or cattle decks even if an equivalent weight of maize or wheat should be short-shipped; and whether arrangements will promptly be made for the importation of live cattle?


Steamers arriving from North and South America are fully loaded down to their marks with cargo, chiefly dead-weight cargo, of the first importance. A proposal to import live cattle, in place of a certain quantity of grain, has already been discussed between the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Shipping, but the decision has been to give priority to cereals.


Can the hon. Gentleman say why the importation of live cattle is always stopped by Sir Thomas Robertson, representing the Board of Trade and the Board of Agriculture?


I think my hon. Friend had better address that question to the Board of Agriculture or the Board of Trade.