HC Deb 09 December 1941 vol 376 cc1391-2
62. Mr. McKinlay

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food why the unanimous recommendation of the Glasgow Food Control Committee that the licences to trade as butchers held by two Glasgow butchers, William Lamont and James Tunnock, should be revoked was rejected by his Ministry; whether he is aware that both men were fined for violating the sale of horseflesh regulation, that both sold the meat in question for human consumption, that Tunnock was fined for a common law fraud for selling horseflesh minced to restaurants as fresh meat; and will he review this matter?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Major Lloyd George)

The offences to which my hon. Friend refers were committed by William Lamont and James Tunnock before 6th August last —the date upn which, in answer to a Question put by my hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for East Leicester (Major Lyons), I announced that my Noble Friend had decided that as from 15th August, the licence would be withdrawn from any trader who was guilty of conduct which rendered him an unsuitable link in the chain of distribution. I do not consider that this announcement should apply retrospectively; and while my Noble Friend recognises the care with which the Glasgow Food Control Committee examined these cases before making their unanimous recommendation, he decided that the proper course was to warn the offenders. This has been done and any repetition of offence against Food Regulations will be followed by the revocation of licences.

Mr. McKinlay

Is it not a fact that the food control committee had the power to recommend the withdrawal of licences prior to the declaration in the House, and was acting on these powers in recommending that proceedings should be taken?

Major Lloyd George

I believe they had powers—I am speaking subject to correction—in the case of goods which were subject to control. My hon. Friend will be aware that the commodity mentioned in this case was not controlled by my Ministry at the date of my statement.

Mr. McKinlay

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that this com- modity was not under control until a very much later period?

Mr. Mathers

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware of the dissatisfaction of local food control committees at the way in which their ideas are overturned by the Ministry at the centre, who do not know the conditions locally?

Major Lloyd George

I do not think that the situation generally bears out what the hon. Member says.