66. Lieut. - Colonel W. GUINNESS
asked the Minister of Food what charges are imposed, per cwt., on cattle, sheep, and pigs sold for slaughter; whether these charges have lately been raised; what total amount per month is produced by these charges; and whether there is any surplus after providing for expenses of administration?
§ Mr. McCURDY
The gross charge on cattle at the present time is 17s. per cwt., and that on sheep 2½d. per lb., plus 1s. 6d. per head. No charges are collected on pigs. The charge on cattle was increased from 13s. to 17s. per cwt. on the 27th February, 1920. The total amount which is produced by these charges varies considerably from month to month according to the numbers of cattle and sheep which are sent into market, and according to the sliding scale of prices paid to the farmers. It is not anticipated that there will be any surplus after providing for expenses of administration.
§ Lieut.-Colonel WHELER
May I ask whether when control goes all these charges will entirely disappear?
Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that his administration is not unduly extravagent? It works out in this respect at 2d. per lb.
§ Mr. McCURDY
It would be impossible within the limits of time permissible for an answer to a supplementary question to properly deal with the question of these charges which are not net charges. For instance, instead of 17s., only 3s. per cwt. is actually collected on cattle, and instead of 2d. per lb. on sheep only ¼d. per lb. is paid out by the Department, The system is of a somewhat complicated character and I shall be very happy to give full 2013 information to hon. Members who are interested if they will give notice of a question or write to me.