HC Deb 06 July 1961 vol 643 cc1640-1
26. Mr. Darling

asked the Minister of Education if he will request local education authorities to confine their purchases of meat for school meals to suppliers who use the Fat Stock Marketing Corporation's schedules to indicate quality and source.

Mr. K. Thompson

My right hon. Friend does not think it would be appropriate for him to limit suppliers as suggested. Local education authorities are responsible for running the school meals service and it is for them to purchase the meat needed so as to maintain nutritional standards at reasonable cost.

Mr. Darling

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many meat traders, admittedly a minority of those in the country, mislabel their meat and the local weights and measures inspectors are finding evidence of this all the time? Can the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that the meat supplied to schools is the meat that the local education authorities have paid for? If he cannot give that assurance, would he press on his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture the need to have a proper schedule of gradings of meat so that action can be taken against those traders who mislabel the meat in the way I have suggested?

Mr. Thompson

I will have inquiries made into whether there are good grounds for thinking that buyers of meat for local education authorities are being deceived in the way the hon. Member suggests, but as far as I have been able to discover up to now there is no evidence to that effect.