§ 71. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether on 21st and 22nd December a considerable consignment of New Zealand lambs was released and placed on Smithfield Market with instructions that they were to be sold to the poorer districts; whether, during the earlier part of the week, a considerable number of lambs were released in the ordinary way and which, like most Government meat sold at Smithfield, was delivered to middle-class districts and West-end restaurants; whether the selling price of lambs was 11d. per 1b. till Thursday, 20th December, and was raised to 11½d. per 1b. on the 1550 release of the extra lambs for the poorer districts; and what proportion of the lambs released on 21st and 22nd December were placed by the agents of the New Zealand Refrigerating Company?
§ Mr. CLYNES
The statement that a number of New Zealand lambs were released and placed on the Smithfield Market on the 21st and 22nd December, with instructions that they were to be sold to the poorer districts, is correct. No Government lambs were released in the earlier part of the week, and it is, therefore, incorrect to state that a considerable number were delivered to middle-class districts and West-end restaurants. The Food Controller is not aware that the selling price for lambs was raised from 11 d. to 11½d. per lb. on the 20th December, as stated by the hon. Member. The price of 11½d. per lb., at which the lambs in question were sold, is in accordance with the provisions of the Meat (Maximum Prices) Order, 1917. About half the lambs released were placed on the market by the New Zealand Refrigerating Company, Limited, who were the original vendors of these consignments to the Board of Trade.