HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 cc2065-7
54. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the altered circumstances, he will now consider revising the control of livestock prices by increasing the general grading for cows by at least 2s. 6d., and by introducing an intermediate class for calves at 9d. per lb.?

80. Mr. Price L

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that there is dissatisfaction with the method of grading and paying for fat cows and calves; and whether he will consider the setting up of fresh grades affording better remuneration for these classes of animals?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I have received representations from the Farmers' Unions on the lines suggested by the hon. Members which are at present under consideration.

69. Mr. T. Williams

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the widespread complaints about the grading of cattle at the various collecting centres; and what steps have been taken to remedy these grievances?

Mr. Morrison

I am not aware of any widespread complaints about the grading of cattle at the various collecting centres. A relatively small number of complaints have been received from individual farmers. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Ayr and Bute (Mr. Sloan) on 15th February.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Is the Minister aware that if he visited one of these collecting centres he would find that the farmrs—not a few, but practically the whole of them—are disgruntled at the treatment which they are getting?

Mr. Morrison

No, I cannot accept that. The conditions under which the grading is being carried out are the same as those in peace-time. That is not to say that everyone is satisfied; at the same time we do take steps as we did in peace-time to ensure that there is uniformity and on the whole the farmer recognises as he did in peace-time that the system is as good as it can be.

Sir J. Lamb

Is the Minister not aware that a great deal of trouble arises from the fact that the farmer does not know in what grade his cattle has been placed until it is too late?

Mr. Morrison

I would like to say that if that is a specific cause of complaint, I will gladly look into it and see whether notification of the grade can be expedited. There may be points of detail like that in which we can improve the system but I cannot accept the suggestion that it is generally causing complaint.

Mr. W. Roberts

Can the Minister say whether the actual returns of the slaughter-houses show that grading is in fact accurate?

Mr. Morrison

We have made some tests in connection with that matter, and the tests which I have seen show that they are extremely accurate.

Mr. De la Bère

Is not this grading generally unsatisfactory?

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