HC Deb 08 October 1940 vol 365 cc256-7
87. Mr. Kirkwood

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, whether he is aware that the cost of Grade 2 butcher-meat has risen 6d. per lb. compared with a rise of 2d. per lb. in Grade 1 meat, and that sausages have risen at the same ratio as Grade 2 and that there is a shortage of the latter grade; and what steps he is taking to secure for the workpeople of this country an ample supply of cheap meat?

Mr. Boothby

There has been no rise in the maximum retail prices of meat since the introduction of full control on 15th January last. At that date, the maximum retail prices of Grade 1 and Grade 2 meat were fixed for the various cuts and joints at approximately the prices ruling just previously. Compared with the prices ruling prior to the War these maxima show increases ranging from ½d. to 2d. per lb. according to the class of meat and cut. The statement that Grade 2 butcher-meat has risen 6d. per lb. is therefore unfounded. It is not possible owing to the wide variation in the meat content and retail price of sausages before the introduction of control and before the war to compare strictly the present maximum prices for Grade 2 sausages with those then ruling, but there is no foundation for the statement that Grade 2 sausages have risen 6d. per lb. as compared with the prices for comparable sausages before the introduction of control. I am not aware of any shortage of Grade 2 sausages. If my hon. Friend will give me particulars of districts where such shortages are known to him, I will take immediate steps to remedy the matter within the limits of the supply position.

Mr. Kirkwood

Will the hon. Gentleman go into this matter, and does he realise that the statements made here are absolutely true and not false at all?

Mr. Boothby

I cannot accept the latter part of the statement of the hon. Member, but I will certainly go into the matter.

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