HC Deb 13 December 1927 vol 211 cc2075-6

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the financial condition of the farmers and the disparity which exists between the prices paid for beasts and the prices charged to the public by the butchers, he will consider the re-establishment of the system of grading animals which prevailed during the War?


The grading system to which the hon. Member refers was incidental to a comprehensive control of the meat trade which involved the Government purchase of cattle from fanners on the basis of maximum prices, the fixing and pooling of intermediate charges, the pooling of other expenses and the re-sale of beasts or meat to butchers at fixed prices. I am, at present, exploring the possibility of introducing an improved system of price recording based on the weight as well as on the quality of cattle sold, but no sufficient grounds exist for placing the meat industry of this country under a form of State control which could only be justified in a national emergency and is not seriously demanded by any of the interests concerned.

Commander WILLIAMS

Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that during the War this system was very unsatisfactory as regards prices and costs?


Is it not the case that the difference between the price which the farmer receives, and the price which the butcher receives, is due to the fact that the farmer sells the animal alive and as a whole, while the butcher cuts it up into small pieces?