HC Deb 08 November 1948 vol 457 cc1252-4
23. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the form headed, "Ministry of Food, Self Suppliers of Pigs Scheme," and containing on two pages of foolscap forms of application and declaration by an individual wishing to have a pig killed and by the person who is to kill the pig together with a number of Notes (a) to (k); that after the above form has been completed and rendered, a further form of licence to slaughter is issued with several printed conditions numbered (a) to (e) together with a form of declaration by the slaughterman; and whether he will discontinue the use of these long and complicated forms, substituting, if necesary, a simple licence to kill a pig.

Mr. Strachey

The new forms were introduced, in consequence of the findings of the Bodinnar Committee, as one of the measures designed to check the serious abuses which had crept into the self-suppliers' scheme. I am glad to say that my information is that the new arrangements have effected a marked improvement. They must be detailed if they are to serve their purpose effectively and so I am not prepared to stop using them.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Has the Minister studied the notes on the first of those two forms and does he approve of note (c), which says: 'Fed' means serve with food at feeding times. It does not mean sending or bringing food for some other person to feed the pig. Is he aware of the intense irritation caused to all concerned by these forms, does he not appreciate the extra work put on his own officials, and do these forms do any good to anybody?

Mr. Strachey

Yes, Sir. The situation before these forms were introduced was one which caused concern in every part of the House, because this self-suppliers' scheme was leading to rather grave abuses. On the other hand, it would have been a great pity to scrap the self-suppliers' scheme. The only possible way was to tighten up the regulations.

Mr. Quintin Hogg

Has the right hon. Gentleman taken into account the very great feeling of dissatisfaction among certain butchers who have practically been driven out of this branch of the trade by the new regulations, and will he consider the hardship involved?

Mr. Strachey

If there are individual cases where a butcher should be made an authorised slaughterer, I shall be most willing to consider them.

Sir W. Smithers

In view of the reduced supplies of bacon from Canada, why do the Minister of Food and the Minister of Agriculture make it difficult for people— especially small people—to keep one or two pigs? Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that if only he would withdraw some of his restrictions, thousands more pigs would be kept all over the country?

Mr. Strachey

What we do is to make it possible for the self—supplier to draw rationed feedingstuffs.