HC Deb 27 January 1958 vol 581 cc26-7
40 and 41. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what proportion of the total amount of meat passing through slaughterhouses is actually inspected; and

(2) what proportion of meat inspected at slaughterhouses is found diseased and unfit for human consumption.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. J. B. Godber)

It is estimated that the proportion of meat inspected is about four-fifths of the total, of which less than one per cent. is found unfit for human consumption.

Sir F. Medlicott

Does my hon. Friend not feel that the position is rather unsatisfactory? Does it not follow from these figures that a certain amount of diseased meat must inevitably find its way into the shops, and can he not advance the date when all meat going into slaughterhouses is inspected?

Mr. Godber

I entirely agree that we must try to get all meat inspected at the earliest possible date. We are doing all we can to that end, and at the moment we are having consultations with those concerned to see whether we can speed up this matter.

Mr. Royle

Will the Minister take steps to have his hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, Central (Sir F. Medlicott) put on the Slaughterhouses Bill Standing Committee so that he may obtain further information on that matter from Members of the Opposition?

Mr. Godber

I have a great deal of valuable advice tendered to me on that Committee. I do not think I need more.

Mr. Wiley

Will the Parliamentary Secretary press on his right hon. Friend that we are in real difficulties in the Standing Committee because we are boycotted by the Minister and that the sooner he becomes a member of it the better?

Mr. Godber

I do not think that is really quite fair. The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well the reasons why my right hon. Friend is not on the Committee. I am doing my best to satisfy the hon. Gentleman and his Friends in that Committee, and I hope that, with their help, we shall soon reach the end of the Committee stage.

Mr. Willey

I do not know the reasons.