HC Deb 02 December 1953 vol 521 cc1143-4
24. Mr. Peyton

asked the Minister of Food how many additional slaughterhouses will, according to his present estimate, be required, following the derationing of meat in 1954; and what arrangements are being made to provide them.

Major Lloyd George

I am discussing this matter with the trades and organisations concerned. In the meantime, I would prefer to make no estimate.

Mr. Peyton

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend bear in mind that this is becoming a matter of increasing urgency and is arousing considerable anxiety in the country? Will he do his best at the earliest possible moment to make clear the expectations of the Government on this matter?

Major Lloyd George

My hon. Friend probably remembers that some months ago I appointed an inter-Departmental Committee to look into this matter very carefully. He will appreciate that this is a very big matter and affects many parts of the country. It cannot be settled quickly, but I hope shortly to get the Report.

30. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Food what steps are being taken to make available sufficient slaughterhouse capacity to enable a start to be made next summer with the grade and deadweight system of marketing fat stock as desired by the National Farmers' Union.

Major Lloyd George

A producers' marketing board set up to undertake on a voluntary basis the slaughter of fatstock and the sale of meat by grade and deadweight would be responsible for securing the necessary facilities by arrangement with public and private owners of slaughterhouses. Such a marketing scheme could also provide for slaughterhouses to be built or acquired for the Board's exclusive use, subject, of course, to the law governing the matter.

Mr. Hurd

Does my right hon. and gallant Friend recognise that at least 20 modern slaughterhouses will be needed up and down the country by next summer to give this grade and deadweight scheme a fair start? Will he earmark some, if not all, of the new Government slaughterhouses for this purpose?

Major Lloyd George

I cannot agree to earmarking, because, as my hon. Friend probably knows, the slaughterhouses owned by the Government have already been offered to local authorities. But certainly I shall do everything I can to assist in any way, and perhaps we will be in a better position after we received the Report of the inter-Departmental Committee.

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