HC Deb 12 March 1918 vol 104 cc168-9
60. Major HUNT

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether the rationing system at Smithfield has resulted in 500 or 600 men, many of whom have worked for twenty years and more for the same firm, being summarily dismissed, and hardship has been thereby imposed upon a worthy body of men who can only be transferred to other employment with difficulty; and whether he will at once have a registration of these men and draw up a scheme whereby the wholesale association shall be levied to provide for their relief in the same manner that the cotton manufacturers are levied for the relief of the unemployed weavers until sufficient time has elapsed to absorb this surplus labour into useful employment, and that this relief shall apply to all registered men whether trades unionists or otherwise?


I regret that, in consequence of the rationing of meat supplies, the volume of business passing through Smithfield Market has been so materially reduced that some of the wholesalers have been obliged to dismiss a certain number of their staff. A Report on the whole question is being prepared by the Wholesale Meat Supply Association, which will be considered by the Food Controller, and all possible measures taken to afford relief.