HC Deb 24 July 1950 vol 478 cc14-6
21. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Food if he has considered a case, of which details have been sent to him, in which a member of the public, after obtaining the weekly ration of meat on Saturday, 15th July, found it totally unfit for human consumption by Sunday, 16th July; if he will allow a free supplementary meat ration this week and what action he will take to correct this situation generally.

Mr. Webb

As the information sent to me by the hon. Member is not adequate, I would be glad if he could let me have further details. In general, we are prepared to replace any meat which has been condemned in a butcher's shop soon after delivery, but it would obviously be impracticable for us to undertake to replace meat after it has been sold to the consumer. We naturally expect the butcher to protect his customers by not selling meat unfit for consumption.

Mr. Bossom

Is the Minister aware that this case concerns a very good butcher, who had to sell the meat he had delivered to him? Will he make it a rule that where butchers have to sell the meat which is delivered to them he will replace it if it is not good?

Mr. Webb

On the general position, I do not think I can go beyond what I have said. In this particular case, I would like to see the facts and see if there is anything that can be done to meet them.

Sir T. Moore

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that when I showed him a sample of bad butter, a short time ago, he destroyed it on his premises, so that I could not produce any evidence in this House against him?

27. Mr. Vosper

asked the Minister of Food to what extent retail butchers are compelled to accept allocations of manufacturing meat of a quality suitable only for factory use.

Mr. Webb

The manufacturing meat which we allocate to retail butchers is of a quality suitable for them to use in making meat products; and if a butcher does not wish to use his allocation himself he can arrange to have it made up for him by a manufacturer.

Mr. Vosper

Would the Minister give an assurance that if a butcher cannot use the meat he can get authority for canning it?

34. Colonel Ropner

asked the Minister of Food why the supply of fresh home-killed meat to the butchers of Tadcaster has been stopped.

26. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Food why he has recently refused to allocate fresh home-killed meat to certain districts in Yorkshire.

Mr. Webb

The butchers concerned have refused to take fresh beef offals. This means that we cannot allocate stock to that district for slaughter, since there are serious practical difficulties in moving the offals to other areas.

Colonel Ropner

By what authority does the right hon. Gentleman's Department deny home killed beef to butchers who refuse to take the offal which they cannot sell except at a very serious loss?

Mr. Webb

The trouble is that cows contain not only beef but offal, and we have to take some account of the economic value of the whole animal. If we have to send the offal to another district, we should, because of the very delicate nature of offal, make a loss; and, therefore, we have had to insist, since these butchers would not take offal, to reduce the supply of beef in order to have a fair arrangement for the distribution of these cattle.

Colonel Ropner

But is the right hon. Gentleman aware that butchers cannot sell the offal at present prices?

Mr. Walter Fletcher

Does the right hon. Gentleman's reply mean that his Department supplies beef from cows only?