§ 4. Mr. JAMES MASON
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether meat is being bought in Ireland at over 80s. per cwt. for the Navy whilst the price is limited to 75s. in England; and whether this is checking the importation of meat from Ireland to this country?
The prices quoted by my hon. Friend are apparently live-weight prices, and Admiralty contracts for meat are entirely on a dead-weight basis. The average dead-weight contract prices are, I understand, practically the same in England and in Ireland. The exact live-weight price paid for the animal is a matter for the contractor. It is limited in England by the Food Controller's maximum of 75s. per cwt., but there is no such limit at present in Ireland. So far as Admiralty contracts for meat in Ireland are concerned, therefore, the question of checking the importation of meat into this country from Ireland does not arise.
§ 58. Mr. J. MASON
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether an arrangement has been made with a wholesale meat supply association to buy meat in country markets to supply the towns; whether this association is guaranteed against loss, thereby removing any pecuniary interest in the way the meat is graded; what is the actual loss incurred to date under this arrangement, and what commission is paid to the association; whether the wholesale meat association which buys meat for the towns employs agents to supervise the work, and, if so, how many are so employed and at what salaries; and whether the State pays the salaries?
§ Mr. CLYNES
Wholesale meat supply associations have been formed in various areas to assist the Food Controller in the distribution of meat and in the control of individual wholesalers. They are not trading bodies, but are solely distributing agencies under the direction of the Ministry of Food. The remuneration received by their members is the usual 730 trade commission of 2½ per cent. As regards the grading of live stock, neither the associations nor other buyers have any voice in the determination of the live-weight graded prices, which are fixed by Grading Committees appointed by the Ministry. Where the Ministry purchases on a live-weight graded price, and resells at a fixed wholesale dead-meat price, some loss may have been incurred in estimating the yield of dead meat, but no detailed figures can be given at the present stage. Area and deputy meat agents are not appointed by the wholesale meat supply associations, but by the Ministry of Food.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I have answered generally as to the duties of these associations, but as to any point of detail I would like notice.