§ 34. Mr. Frederick Willey
asked the Minister of Food what steps he proposes to take to curtail the unauthorised sales of eggs off the ration.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Charles Hill)
The hon. Member is fully seized of the arrangements in force for ensuring that egg producers carry out their statutory obligations. If he knows of any case in which illegal disposal of eggs seems to be taking place and will let me have particulars, I will have investigations made.
I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for his answer, but does he realise that there are fairly widespread allegations in the newspapers that there is a fairly extensive black market, which is being given as the cause for us not being able to have a flush of eggs this year? Would he give the House an assurance that it be not so?
§ Dr. Hill
The hon. Member will realise that producers with a flock of less than 25 birds are free to sell their eggs as they will, and that accounts perhaps for some one-fifth of the production. At the same time, it is not denied that there is reason to believe there is some leakage-of some size in this field.