HC Deb 26 November 1953 vol 521 cc509-10
28. Mr. Aitken

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware of the difficulties which some local authorities are experiencing in the collection of waste food; and if he will now revoke the wartime emergency directions requiring local authorities to engage in salvage schemes.

Mr. Nugent

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "Yes, Sir." As to the second part, the Government have decided that the salvage of waste food by local authorities will in future be on a voluntary basis, and my right hon. Friend hopes to introduce legislation in the current Session giving local authorities the necessary permissive powers so that the wartime directions can be revoked. In the meantime, he is prepared to revoke individual directions for local authorities if they wish him to do so. Despite this, I should say that this is a most useful piece of salvage work which ought, if possible, to be maintained as a long-term service.

Mr. Aitken

Is my hon. Friend aware that this answer will give great satisfaction to many authorities who engage in this very uneconomic form of expenditure?

Mr. Baldwin

Is my hon. Friend aware that if authorities are to go on with this matter steps must be taken to see that this salvage is properly treated before it is fed to other animals, in view of the danger of the spread of foot-and-mouth disease?

Mr. Nugent

The veterinary requirements of my Department will still continue.