HC Deb 27 January 1930 vol 234 cc606-8
61. Mr. HURD

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, as the result of inquiries by his officials, he can state approximately the percentage of hotels and restaurants in the West End of London which serve British meat; and whether means can be taken under the national-mark scheme to encourage the practice?


I have no exact information on the subject, but the percentage of hotels and restaurants in the West End of London which serve British meat is very low. Inquiries made by officers of the Ministry from the wholesale trade indicate that in the case of British beef the percentage does not exceed five. The national mark beef scheme provides restaurants and hotels with a guarantee that the beef that they buy is home killed or Scotch killed. The Ministry is taking steps to impress this fact on the notice of managers.


What distinction is made between home-killed and Scotch-killed? Is not Scotch-killed home-killed?


There is no distinction except in the nature of the mark put upon it.


Will the right hon. Gentleman communicate with his colleague who is responsible for the Government Hospitality Fund to see that no dinner at the expense of that Fund is given at any of the hotels which refuse to serve this meat?

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain how he expects West End hotels to buy this meat, when the Secretary of State for War will not do so?

62. Mr. W. B. TAYLOR

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent the national mark has been applied to homegrown meat; and in what markets and centres is it in operation?


The only home-grown meat for which a National Mark scheme has so far been established is beef. Experimental schemes for home-killed beef are in operation for cattle slaughtered at Birkenhead and Islington for the London market and also for cattle slaughtered at Birmingham for the Birmingham market, while an experimental scheme for Scotch-killed beef is in operation in Aberdeenshire and neighbouring districts for Scotch-killed beef consigned to London.


Is there any foundation for the suggestion in the Press that this scheme has been held up by boycotting on the part of certain butchers?


There has been an attempt, but it is in course of being defeated.