HC Deb 21 June 1950 vol 476 cc1294-5
57. Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

asked the Minister of Food what was the total number and weight of sheep slaughtered at the Metropolitan Cattle Market, Islington, on 3rd June, 1950; what percentage was subsequently condemned; and what was the consequent loss to his Department.

Mr. Webb

Five hundred and eleven sheep, weighing about 13 tons, were slaughtered at the Metropolitan Cattle Market, Islington, on 3rd June, and despite all the normal precautions about 50 per cent. by weight had to be condemned as result of the very hot weather over the week-end. The exact cost of the condemnations to my Department will not be known until our records have been examined in detail, and this will take some little time.

Mr. Thomton-Kemsley

When the Minister talks about the very hot weather over the week-end, are not records available to him of exactly the same thing happening over mutton in the time of his predecessor at this slaughter house last summer. Has not the trade made representations that there ought not to be slaughtering at this slaughter house at Saturday or on Friday, because of the lack of cold storage accommodation, which, in this case, was full before slaughtering commenced?

Mr. Webb

I am aware of the shortage of refrigerating capacity in this slaughter house, but we are limited by capital investment considerations. We are doing our best to put it right and I think that by next year we shall have adequate accommodation.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Is the Minister limited by capital investment considerations from slaughtering sheep on days of the week other than Friday and Saturday?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is any disciplinary action to be taken against the officials concerned for this second occasion on which wicked waste has taken place?

Mr. Webb

I am waiting for a report on the whole situation.