HC Deb 02 February 1959 vol 599 cc21-2
32. Mr. Darling

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to publish his new slaughterhouse regulations.

Mr. Godber

All the regulations to which reference was made during the passage through the House of the Slaughterhouses Act, 1958, have been made with the exception of a regulation dealing with forms of slaughterhouse licences.

Mr. Darling

Do I understand from that reply that these are all the regulations which are to be issued? Is the hon. Member aware that there is a grave omission from the regulations in that they do not provide for the hours of slaughtering in order that there can be a 100 per cent. inspection of meat? Is he also aware that the discussions on the Bill which provided these regulations were curtailed and that we were told that the matter of issuing the regulations was urgent? Is he aware that this curtailment of our discussion by the guillotine took place nearly a year ago? Why has it taken so long to produce these very inadequate regulations?

Mr. Godber

I am afraid the hon. Member's memory is at fault. We had no guillotine in that Committee, although I recollect that he assisted the passage of that Bill materially. The regulations which we have issued are those which I undertook would be issued. I made it abundantly clear at that time that I gave no undertaking about a 100 per cent. inspection of meat, but that does not mean that the Government are not very anxious to get 100 per cent. inspection of meat. We shall continue our efforts to achieve it.

Mr. Willey

Cannot the hon. Member do better than this? Cannot he abolish Sunday slaughtering right away?

Mr. Godber

The hon. Member is aware that we are having more consultations on this matter and are seeking to find an agreed solution to what is not an easy problem. We are just as anxious as is any hon. Member to have 100 per cent. meat inspection and we are continuing our efforts to that end.