HC Deb 31 October 1957 vol 575 cc380-1
23. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the reasons for the delay in the consideration given to whether or not there should be national standards for the meat content of sausages; and what is the present position.

Mr. Amory

Unexpected technical difficulties have arisen on the report of the Food Standards Committee and have called for further investigation. I have only within the last few days been advised of the results. My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Minister of Health, and I will reach a decision as soon as possible.

Mr. Dodds

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at the recent conference of public health inspectors at Eastbourne it was emphasised that a pork sausage with less than 65 per cent. meat content, irrespective of the quality of the meat, ceased to be a sausage? Will he bear in mind, when making his decision, that he should beware of those vested interests who are advising him that a sausage should be judged by its flavour, when it is possible with soya bean flour and the addition of a chemical to give a sausage of lower meat content a very attractive meaty flavour?

Mr. Amory

I think we shall need to have a full-dress debate on this subject one day. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that there are grounds for feeling that the solution to the sausage question is like a Sputnik which performs its regular orbits but never seems to get any nearer.

Mr. Willey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that courts of law are finding it extremely difficult to determine when a sausage is a sausage? He ought really to save them from their embarrassment as soon as he can.

Mr. Amory

I know, Sir. The difficulty is that I am finding it just as difficult as the courts of law.