HC Deb 16 June 1954 vol 528 c1927
4. Sir R. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Food whether, with a view to making an early start with the permanent reconstruction and improvement of slaughter-houses, the Government will urge the Interdepartmental Committees on siting to expedite their reports and recommendations.

Major Lloyd George

The Inter-departmental Committees on Slaughter-houses for England and Wales and for Scotland are aware of the urgency of their tasks, but they have many complex problems to consider, and I cannot expect that their reports will be available much before the end of this year.

Sir R. De la Bère

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware how vitally urgent this matter is? Is not he further aware that many of the existing slaughter-houses are obsolete and insanitary, and that the matter is a Number 1 priority?

Major Lloyd George

That is why the Committee was appointed. I am sure that my hon. Friend will appreciate that the planning of an entirely new slaughter-house policy is not something which can be done in a hurry.

Mr. T. Williams

Can the Minister give the House any idea how many local authorities are satisfied with the slaughterhouse accommodation which will be available a fortnight hence?

Major Lloyd George

I do not think I can answer that question. The fact is that local authorities have responsibilities in the interim period, and I am bound to say that they are doing an extraordinarily good job of work. Nobody suggests that the availability of slaughterhouses in the interim period is satisfactory, and we shall push on with the main problem as soon as we can.