HC Deb 26 November 1952 vol 508 cc431-2
4. Mr. O'Neill

asked the Minister of Food if he is satisfied with the condition and quality of recent trial shipments of carcase meat imported from Northern Ireland; and if it is his intention to encourage the development of this trade in the future.

Major Lloyd George

Yes, Sir. But no great expansion of this trade is possible with the limited slaughtering and chilling facilities available in Northern Ireland.

Mr. O'Neill

Is the Minister aware that the importation of meat in this form would reduce considerably the losses that normally occur in the transport of cattle on the hoof? Is he also aware that the killing of cattle and preparation of meat in this form would give much needed employment in Northern Ireland, especially in centres like Omagh and Strabane where the rate of unemployment is very high?

Major Lloyd George

I should like to remind the hon. Member that the facilities which exist at the moment are not anything like sufficient for this trade on a large scale. There is also a very old traditional market in live cattle between Northern Ireland and this country, and one would hesitate a great deal before interfering with that.