§ 34. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Minister of Agriculture if, in view of the fact that Scotch and English meat has gone up about 1½d. a pound wholesale in the last week, and that butchers are charging 3d. to 4d. a pound more, he is prepared to remove the existing embargo against the importation of certain kinds of meat?
There has been some recovery in the wholesale prices of British beef and mutton from the low levels obtaining in January last. This upward movement has been specially marked over the past week owing to the prevalence of a keener demand. The level of pork prices is practically unaltered. I can see no reason for considering any modification of the existing embargo on the importation of fresh meat from the Continent, which was imposed on disease grounds, and in any case is totally unrelated to the recent rise in prices of beef and mutton.
§ Mr. THORNE
Surely the Minister of Agriculture must see that an embargo upon various kinds of foreign meat is the means of jumping up the price; and does he not recognise that the workers of this country who have to pay one penny a pound extra for their meat, are being robbed of the opportunities of purchasing other commodities?
—on the price of beef or mutton. The embargo applies almost entirely to veal and pork, and, if the hon. Member examines the figures since the beginning of the year, he will see that there has been no rise in the cost of pork.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Are we to understand from the right hon. Gentleman's original answer that he regards an increase in the cost of living as a recovery?