HC Deb 27 July 1953 vol 518 cc880-1
34. Mr. Bence

asked the Minister of Food what percentage of meat imported from Australia was ewe mutton in the years 1951, 1952 and 1953, respectively.

Major Lloyd George

Approximately 3 per cent. 1 per cent. and 10 per cent. in the financial years ended in March, 1951, 1952 and 1953 respectively.

Mr. Bence

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that it was reported in the week-end Press that butchers last week failed to sell the increased allocations made to them? In view of that, will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman withdraw this mutton, or, failing that, see that ewe mutton is not concentrated in districts where people were unable to buy the meat ration because it was too dear? Housewives of working men cannot afford to pay money for stuff they cannot eat.

Major Lloyd George

They managed it very well under the late Administration. The percentage of ewe mutton in the ration today is, I think, the lowest it has ever been. It is about 3.5 per cent. The fact is that there has been difficulty today because butchers have, for the first time since the war, to sell this meat when there is more good meat available than there was before.