§ 63. Sir N. GRIFFITHS
asked the Food Controller whether meat was supplied last week to butchers at Wandsworth which 321 they considered unfit for sale and declined to accept; whether they were, in consequence of this protest, deprived of the remainder of their supplies till Thursday, when, in order to obtain the balance of their allocation, they agreed to accept the inferior meat; and why it was that, in spite of this action taken by the Wandsworth butchers, the people of Wandsworth were penalised and did not receive their full quota of meat?
The statement that butchers in Wandsworth were supplied with meat unfit for sale is incorrect. All meat before going into distribution is graded by experts appointed by the Ministry, and only meat above a certain standard is issued. The allocation made to the Wandsworth district consisted of exactly the same proportions of British and imported meat respectively as were distributed to all other London districts. Buyers are not permitted to select a portion of their allocation which they are prepared to take and reject the other portion. Inquiry into the action of the Wandsworth butchers shows that their refusal to accept their allocation was not justified and any shortage in the supplies received by them is attributable solely to the delay occasioned by that action.
Sir F. HALL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I brought to the notice of his predecessor a whole draft of oxen exhibited for sale in butchers' shops in Streatham, which is part of Wandsworth, and that when the Food Controller sent down he was not able to prove that the facts that I brought to his notice were incorrect?
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Were the parties who decided that the food was fit for consumption the same parties who allocated the meat? If so, could they be expected to condemn their own judgment?
§ Mr. WATERSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Burton-on-Trent was suffering from the same complaint last week, and the butchers refused to accept it?
64. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir F. HALL
asked the Food Controller if his attention has been called to the statement that inferior qualities of meat are being allocated to the British market while the better qualities are being sent to enemy countries; and if, in view of the importance of the question, he will say what is being done in the matter?
My attention has been called to this statement. I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that it has no foundation. No fresh or frozen meat of any description has been sent to enemy countries.
Sir F. HALL
Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to see that London is provided with better meat than in the past, and a fairer share of fresh meat?
Sir F. HALL
In view of the few complaints is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is because we are desirous of helping the Food Ministry, and will they do their best to assist people?