HC Deb 13 December 1939 vol 355 cc1199-202
63. Mr. J. Morgan

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether it is proposed to include all grades of cow-beef in the full marketing and price-control scheme for home-meat supplies proposed for the New Year?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. W. S. Morrison)

The answer is in the affirmative. I should perhaps explain to the hon. Member that it is contemplated that low-grade cow-beef will be used for manufacturing purposes rather than for distribution as such to the public.

67. Mr. Boothby

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he can now give details of the full system of livestock control to be introduced next month?

69. Colonel Baldwin-Webb

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to be able to make a statement on the number and sites of the retained slaughter-houses which will, according to official anticipation, be needed in connection with the rationing of meat scheme?

Mr. Morrison

Until the final details have been settled of the Orders necessary to bring in full control over the collection and slaughtering of livestock and the distribution of meat, it would be impracticable to give a comprehensive statement of the details of the plan of control. Briefly, however, the proposal is that all fatstock will be bought by the Ministry of Food at prescribed prices, according to grade and classification, at collecting centres. Practically all the livestock markets at which fatstock are normally sold, have been approved as collecting centres. The stock so purchased will be slaughtered on behalf of the Government at selected slaughterhouses, and the resulting meat will be distributed, through wholesale meat supply associations, acting as agents of the Ministry, to the retail trade, at prices which will include delivery. Fat pigs will also be bought by the Ministry at prescribed prices. Producers of pigs will have the option either of sending their pigs to a collecting centre or of consigning them direct to a bacon factory. Fat pigs sent to collecting centres will be classified into bacon pigs, pork pigs and pigs for manufacturing purposes. Bacon pigs will be sent from collecting centres to bacon factories and the remaining pigs to one or other of the selected slaughterhouses to which I have already referred, for subsequent sale by retailers or for use by meat manufacturers. The number and sites of the slaughterhouses selected for use under the control plan for livestock and meat have been under review and, as a result, a number of additional slaughterhouses are being selected. The number will be about 750. As soon as the list of slaughterhouses has been finally settled, following this review, I will arrange for the list which I have had placed in the Library of the House of Commons to be brought up to date. I should add that I propose to set up tribunals on a suitable basis to advise me, in the light of the working of the scheme, on appeals for the inclusion in the plan of slaughterhouses omitted at its inception.

Mr. Boothby

In fixing the price for cattle will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the desirability of encouraging the production of high-quality catťle?

Colonel Baldwin-Webb

Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that the number and location of slaughterhouses will be kept continuously under review so that difficulťies, such as those connected with transport, may be avoided; and when dealing with the question of pigs will Ire also assure the House that the pig raised by a cottager shall noť be subject to control?

Mr. Morrison

In regard to the first supplementary question, I can tell my hon. Friend that I will give due weight to ťhe consideration which he mentioned, along with the other considerations mentioned in my reply. In regard to the second supplementary question, I assure my hon. and gallant Friend that arrangements will be made ťo keep the selected slaughterhouses continuously under review and to make, in the light of experience, such adaptations as experience proves to be necessary. In regard to pigs, there is a question later on the Paper.

Mr. Jagger

Will ťhe right hon. Gentleman reconsider his refusal to print that list of slaughterhouses, as it would be a great convenience to many Members of the House?

Mr. Morrison

I have put the list in the Library and arranged for it to be brought up to daťe. If there is a demand for it to be printed I will gladly reconsider the matter.

70. Mr. Lunn

asked ťhe Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster the arrangements and ťhe conditions in the distribution of meat in the West Riding of York, as between the slaughterhouses, the wholesalers, the retailers and the consumers; and the locaťion of the slaughterhouses in the Riding?

Mr. Morrison

The North-Eastern Area Wholesale Meat Supply Association has been set up to serve as the Government's agents for ťhe wholesale distribution of meat when full control of meat and livestock is introduced. The association comprises the wholesale meat traders in Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire and will be responsible, inter alia, for the wholesale disťribution of meat from the slaughterhouses in the West Riding. The association will have a representative at each slaughterhouse operating under the scheme of control; he will receive the meat produced there from the slaughterhouse manager and will sell it to the retailers attached to that slaughterhouse in the amounts shown in their buying permits. Butchers will be required to furnish such particulars as may be necessary to enable their buying permits to be compiled. As regards the list of selected slaughterhouses in ťhe West Riding, which will operate under control, I would refer the hon. Member to my earlier reply to-day.

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