§ 37. Mr. SNOWDEN
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food if he is aware of the addition made to the cost of meat by the present system of requiring cattle to be driven in many cases long distances to market and put up for sale by the auctioneer, when the cattle might be slaughtered and disposed of at the place where they have been fattened; and whether some change will be made in the matter?
§ Mr. CLYNES
In order to obtain an equitable distribution of meat supplies it is essential that cattle should be allocated to buyers at convenient centres, and proper records of sales made. For this reason, cattle intended for slaughter are required to be sold in a market, but farmers are, of course, permitted to sell, and do in fact sell, in the nearest market. 1359 Even when sales are made in more distant markets, this does not involve any addition to the cost of meat, since transport expenses are equalised by means of a flat-rate charge. I may add that, under the system of purchase by dead-weight now in contemplation by the Ministry of Food, arrangements will be made for the slaughter of cattle at slaughterhouses situated as near as possible to the place of production.
§ Mr. G. LAMBERT
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, owing to the lack of weighbridges, farmers have to drive cattle much longer distances than they would -otherwise have to do, and will the Department facilitate the supplying of more weighbridges?
§ Mr. CLYNES
I have not heard any complaints of that kind, but that could not affect the question of price.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that violent opposition is likely to be offered from farmers to any sale by dead-weight?