§ Mr. HALLAS
asked the Minister of Food whether he is still holding stocks of frozen sides of bacon; if so, in what quantity; whether this bacon is defrozen and distributed among bacon curers, by whom it is recured, and then placed on the market in an unpalatable condition; how long this kind of thing is likely to continue, and why Danish and Irish bacon is not freely obtainable; and when he proposes to stop the exportation of the best English pigs to America?
§ Mr. McCURDY
So long as bulk of the bacon supplies available for this country has to be obtained from inland centres in America, it is necessary to hold reserves here as a safeguard against delays and dislocation of transport. Such reserves are held in cold store to minimise the possibility of deterioration, and the quantity so held varies from time to time. Bacon from cold stores is not sent to curers to be recured. Practically all 233W bacon is smoked, dried, or rolled by the wholesaler or retailer before it is sold, and bacon from cold stores neither requires, nor is submitted to, any special treatment. Supplies of Danish and Irish bacon are still far below the pre-War production, but the whole exportable surplus of both countries comes to this market. Questions with regard to the exportation of live stock should be addressed to the Minister of Agriculture.