§ Mr. W. R. SMITH
asked the Minister of Food whether frozen mutton is at present selling at 5d. per lb. in New Zealand and bacon at 9½d. per lb. in Chicago; and, if so, will he state the reason for the great difference in these prices and those now charged for the same commodities in this country?
As regards mutton, the figure mentioned approximately represents the first cost of the meat at the date of purchase, to which cost of storage in606W New Zealand, and freight, transport, and distribution charges must be added. This meat is now being sold at its cost to the Government. As regards bacon, it is the fact that short rib sides of bacon are at the present time quoted in Chicago at about 20 cents per lb.; but this cut of bacon is wholly unsuitable for, and never comes to, the English market. The difference between this price and the average retail price of bacon in this country is due to the higher prices paid for English cuts, to rail and ocean carriage, charges to insurance, to loss on exchange, shrinkage, processing charges, and to trade profits. The hon. Member will understand, further, that bacon purchased at present does not reach the English market for some weeks.