HC Deb 05 March 1947 vol 434 c482
56. Mr. Spence

asked the Minister of Food by what amount our consumption of meat, including home-produced, imported and canned meat, has exceeded supply during the past four months.

Dr. Summerskill

The excess of consumption over supplies in the four months to the end of January was about 65,000 tons. This is the season of the year when consumption normally exceeds deliveries.

Mr. Spence

In view of the serious position which the hon. Lady has just disclosed, may I ask for an assurance that she has taken steps to see that the gap of 12½ per cent. between consumption and supply is being bridged, and can she also give an assurance that there will be no cut in the domestic meat ration?

Dr. Summerskill

This discrepancy is quite normal at this time of the year. I must remind the hon. Gentleman that we have reserve stocks. Certainly I would not commit myself on any meat cut at this moment.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Is not the point of reserve stocks to maintain an even distribution over the country? What is the good of having reserve stocks if the only result is to cut distribution?

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