HC Deb 06 February 1941 vol 368 cc1080-1
69. Mr. R. C. Morrison

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade as representing the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that, as a result of Circular C/3/Z/653, general butchers using less than one ton of boneless meat per week must cease the manufacture of sausages and are thereby placed in an inferior position to larger firms; and whether he will consider an early modification of this requirement?

Major Lloyd George

General butchers who do not receive allocations of manufacturing meat as Group 1 meat manufacturers are entitled to an allowance of carcase meat for the manufacture of sausages and other meat products of 2½ per cent. of the value of their buying permits. The revised arrangements set out in the circular mentioned by my hon. Friend for the classification of general butchers as Group 1 meat manufacturers, had to be made owing to the limited supplies of manufacturing meat, some of which has now to be diverted to the pork butchers to compensate them for their loss of sales of fresh pork which are now restricted to general butchers. These revised arrangements have been generally approved by the Ministry's consultative conference of the retail meat trade and the advisory committee on meat manufactures. Both of these bodies include representatives of the national organisations of butchers.

Mr. Morrison

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the effect of this circular is that many family butchers are now unable to obtain sausages for their customers, while grocery shops in the neighbourhood have plenty for sale?

Major Lloyd George

If my hon. Friend will bring to my notice cases he has in mind, I shall be glad to look into them.

Mr. Woods

Is the Minister aware that in many areas, what are described as "general butchers" are, in fact, the main pork butchers in the area and have the largest and most efficient meat manufacturing plants, and that the present arrangement which discriminates between pork butchers and general butchers puts runny general butchers in a disadvantageous position?

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