HC Deb 12 July 1948 vol 453 cc821-2
13. Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

asked the Minister of Food how much carcase meat has been added to stocks as a result of the saving in consumption enforced by the dock strike; and whether he will arrange a compensatory increased issue of carcase meat on the ration in the near future.

Dr. Summerskill

The dock strike caused us to issue canned corned meat in lieu of some 17,500 tons of carcase meat. Owing to the delay in the turn-round of refrigerated shipping a comparable quantity of fresh meat was not added to our stocks: consequently the reply to the second part of the Question is "No. Sir."

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Is it not a fact that 20,000 or 30,000 tons of carcase meat were saved as a result of the cut made last week, and cannot this meat be added to the rations on some future occasion?

Dr. Summerskill

I thought I had made my answer quite clear. This does not necessarily mean a saving. There was a delay in the turn-round of the ships, and the hon. Member must realise that we not only make contracts with exporting countries, but undertake to take their exportable surplus, and to take it in a specified time, and if we do not take it in a specified time it may be we shall lose some of this surplus.

Mr. J. S. C. Reid

Does that mean that the dock strike not only delayed our supplies, but diminished the total quantity of meat we shall receive in the year?

Dr. Summerskill

It is impossible to say at this stage.