HC Deb 07 December 1949 vol 470 cc1883-4
55. Sir Wavell Wakefield

asked the Minister of Food if, in view of the fact that it is undesirable to keep bacon for more than a few weeks, even in cold stores, he will reconsider the position of a person who keeps and kills a pig and who has to forfeit bacon coupons for a year, so as to remove this handicap and give added incentive to pig keeping.

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir. Anyone who kills a pig which he has been feeding for home consumption is already allowed to keep half of it—about a hundredweight of pig meat—without giving up any bacon coupons, which I consider to be sufficient incentive. The 52 bacon coupons are cancelled only when the whole pig is retained, which means giving up 13 lb. of bacon, on the present weekly ration, in exchange for the second hundredweight of pig meat. Domestic pig keepers can have their pig meat dry cured so that it will keep for six months, or more.

Sir W. Wakefield

In view of that reply, why did the Minister state quite recently that it is undesirable to keep bacon for more than a few weeks, even in cold storage, as obviously, if that is the case, a person who kills a pig is going to be without bacon for a large portion of the year?

Mr. Strachey

The reason is that commercial bacon is cured by a different method—tank cured, instead of dry cured.

Brigadier Head

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that bacon cured in a special way so that it will keep for six months is extremely nasty to eat?

Mr. Strachey

I thoroughly disagree.

Mr. Baldwin

Is the Minister aware that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head) is not correct and that if he goes to farmhouses where they cure bacon, he will find that bacon is kept for 12 months and even longer?