HC Deb 07 April 1930 vol 237 cc1774-5
73. Mr. THORNE

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that, in consequence of the high price of pork, there has been a renewal on a large scale of the importation of pork legs and loins in boxes from Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and other American centres; that 95 per cent. of the boxes are unopened and uninspected; whether the importation of pork joints in this manner is a violation of the Foreign Meat Regulations, 1908; and, if not, when the prohibitions imposed in 1908 were removed?


My right hon. Friend understands that there has recently been an increase in the imports of frozen pork in boxes. In 1922 my Department recognised the official certificate of the Gov- eminent of the United States of America for the purposes of the Foreign Meat Regulations, and since that date it has been lawful to import from that country cuts of pork accompanied by such a certificate. The certificate shows that the meat was inspected and passed at the time of slaughter and it ought not, therefore, to be necessary for more than a sample examination to be made at the English ports.

74. Mr. THORNE

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the examination of Argentine mutton for caseous lymphadenitis is becoming less stringent in all centres outside the City of London; that in the ports of London, Liverpool and Southampton the work of cutting and examining the glands of the sheep is left to dock workers or employ⃩s of the importing firms; that carcases have been passed by the port sanitary authority and afterwards condemned by the City of London inspectors; and if he will state whether he is prepared to issue a Circular instructing port medical officers to carry out examinations effectively?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. My right hon. Friend understands that at some ports skilled men are specially employed whose business it is to cut and expose glands for inspection by officers of the port sanitary authority. With regard to the third part of the question, my right hon. Friend is informed that it is not the practice at the port of London to inspect meat which is destined for the City markets and will be inspected there. A conference between the medical officers of health of the ports principally concerned and officers of my Department took place recently, and the conclusion was reached that no relaxation should be made of the present arrangements for examination. My right hon. Friend does not think that any Circular on the subject is required at present.


Is it not a fact that this disease is universal in its incidence and is found in mutton coming from Australia and New Zealand, and even in the home-grown product?


I am aware of such a disease and am also aware of the precautions taken with regard to inspection.