HC Deb 30 May 1918 vol 106 cc960-1
78. Major HUNT

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he can state the approximate statistics recording the slaughtering in Great Britain, during the months of January, February, March, and April, of cattle, distinguishing oxen, bulls, cows, and heifers; of sheep, distinguishing the total of ewes; and pigs, distinguishing the total of sows, for the years 1917 and 1918 respectively?


While, no complete data exist for a comparison such as that referred to in the question, I have had an approximate estimate prepared, which will be printed in the Official Report.

The following is the estimate referred to:

orders from the Food Controller; if this is perishable food that the public are very much in need of; if he will give instructions immediately to have the butter distributed to the different shopkeepers so that the public may be supplied; and if there are 14,000 boxes of bacon lying on the quays at Hull awaiting distribution, exposed to the weather and deteriorating, so that it is becoming unfit for human food?


On 19th May 5,444 casks of Danish butter arrived at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and were put into cool storage, as no cold storage was available. This butter is now being distributed in Scotland and the North of England, the delivery orders having been posted on 27th May. In answer to the last part of the question, I may refer the hon. Baronet to the answer given last Tuesday to the hon. Member for West Newington. I feel bound to add that the circulation of these unfounded reports causes unnecessary public apprehension, and is, in my opinion, much to be deprecated.


Will the hon. Gentleman state why there was ten days' delay in issuing the order for the distribution of this butter?


It was not a case of ten days' delay. That is not at all admitted in my answer.