HC Deb 02 July 1952 vol 503 cc422-3
32. Miss Burton

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the widespread disapproval in the country concerning the black market in eggs; and what results have been obtained from the investigations ordered by his Department in the Midlands.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Charles Hill)

My right hon. and gallant Friend is aware of substantial black market activity in eggs. Between 1st October, 1951, and 31st May, 1952, the number of convictions, mostly for large scale operations, was 186, eight of which were in the Midland area.

Miss Burton

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that his right hon. Friend recently said in the House that only 45 per cent. of the eggs produced in this country reached the egg grading scheme? Would he do something about this matter, so that everybody may have an equal share of eggs?

Dr. Hill

In giving that figure of 45 per cent. my right hon. Friend explained, as the hon. Lady will recall, that eggs from flocks under 25 in number can properly come on to the market free of control. However, my right hon. Friend is reexamining the whole scheme of egg control, and will take into account the point raised by the hon. Lady.

Mr. F. Harris

Would my hon. Friend not consider derationing eggs altogether?

Dr. Hill

The choice is between decontrol and the strengthening of enforcement.

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