HC Deb 23 November 1953 vol 521 cc28-9
52. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Food the estimated amount of diseased meat disposed of by public auction during the last five years.

The Minister of Food (Major Lloyd George)

Disposals of condemned meat and offal by public auction began on 1st August, 1953, and during the month of August approximately 1,100 tons were sold in this way. No later figures are yet available.

Mr. Janner

In view of the large quantity of meat which has been and is being sold, will the Minister take further precautions than those indicated by him in reply to the last Question put to him on this matter and see that the meat does not reach places were it will be used for human consumption? Does herealise that the very high prices that are being paid for this meat indicate that it is being used for human consumption?

Major Lloyd George

Under the new condition of sales, as the hon. Gentleman knows, certain processes have to be gone through before this meat can be sold, and, furthermore, under the new Food and Drugs Bill, which will, I hope, shortly be before the House, greater powers are taken to safeguard the position.

Miss Ward

Would my right hon. and gallant Friend kindly bear in mind that as much as £127 per ton is being paid for condemned meat and that this is a very high figure compared with the average of £23 per ton? Does he not think that this indicates that there is very grave cause for anxiety?

Major Lloyd George

I think my hon. Friend will appreciate that we are taking positive steps at the moment to put that matter right.

Mr. Awbery

As there is a fear that this condemned meat is falling into the hands of people who will sell it for human consumption, will the Minister see that this is not done?

Major Lloyd George

I certainly will. Anything that we can possibly do by regulation and legislation will be done.