HC Deb 02 December 1946 vol 431 c7
8. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the existence of an exportable surplus of meat in Eire; and what steps he is taking to obtain this, with a view to augmenting the meat ration in this country.

Mr. Strachey

There is I am told, a number of second class cattle some of which might be shipped to this country for immediate slaughter if there were a substantial increase in our prices. These would, however, be at the expense of our future supplies of store cattle. I discussed this recently with representatives of the Eire Government, and as the result prices of all fat cattle from Eire were increased by one penny per 1b. as from 1st October, 1946.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is so much meat available in Eire at this moment that individual firms in Dublin are circularising individuals in this country and offering it for sale? If the right hon. Gentleman is not capable of getting that himself will he get out of the way and leave it to private individuals and private enterprise to get it and give it to the people of this country?

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir. Nothing could be more improvident than for us to encourage the import of fat cattle from Eire at the moment. It would simply mean that we had far less store cattle and far less meat in the end.