§ 32. Mr. Chapman
asked the Minister of Food to make a statement on the outcome of his discussions with butchers' organisations about the display of price tags on meat in the shops.
§ Mr. Chapman
Will the hon. Gentleman say when it is hoped to reach a conclusion, because it is now several months since I first asked a Question on this subject?
§ Mr. Follick
Will the Parliamentary Secretary see whether the pre-war custom of putting price tags on English and imported meat cannot be brought back so that the customer may know, by looking at the tags, which meat is produced in this country and which is imported?
There is at present a legal requirement that tags indicating imported and home-produced meats should be used. If the hon. Member has any information about any failure to observe that requirement, I shall be glad to look into the matter.
I did not give the assurance three and a half years ago, but I am giving one now: a conclusion will be reached in the next two or three weeks.
§ 51. Mr. Willey
asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the fact that the meat ration has now been reduced to less than it was last year, he will make arrangements for a Christmas meat bonus.
§ Mr. Willey
Will the Parliamentary Secretary take the opportunity to correct the mistake that appears in HANSARD for last Monday in regard to meat production, and also explain to the House why, 28 if his right hon. and gallant Friend is right and supplies are increasing week by week, he should, at the same time, cut the ration and refuse to give even a Christmas bonus?
The hon. Member knows that the Argentine discussions and negotiations are not yet complete. My right hon. and gallant Friend does not propose to follow the example of the previous Government in 1950, when they put up the meat ration to a high level just before Christmas with the result that it fell to an unprecedented low level immediately afterwards.
§ Mr. Willey
Does the hon. Gentleman. agree or not with his right hon. and gallant Friend, who said last Monday that supplies of meat were increasing week by week?
The consumption of meat in this country this year is 15 per cent. higher than last year. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the future supply position is dependent upon the conclusion of the Argentine discussions.