HC Deb 25 November 1920 vol 135 c672W

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that nearly 1,750,000 of new season's best straight New Zealand lambs have been sold to speculators by his Department at a profit and exported to the United States, where they have been sold at about 9d. per lb., whereas the only New Zealand lambs coming to this country are old stored cut lambs for which his control price is 13d. per lb.; and whether it would be better to let this country have the benefit of a good share of the best lamb and so help to increase its consumption at a reasonable price and so be a means of reducing the abnormally high prices of English meat?


The shipments to which the hon. Member refers consisted of last season's lambs. In view of movements in the rate of exchange, as I have already pointed out to the hon. Member in reply to similar questions on 5th and 16th August, such a comparison of sterling and dollar prices as that suggested in the question is misleading. The suggestion that the only New Zealand lambs reaching this country are cut lambs is quite incorrect. A large proportion of the supplies, past and present, to this country, are identical in description with the lambs which have been shipped to the United States. With regard to the last part of the question, the supplies of New Zealand mutton and lamb avail able for consumption in this country have been ample to satisfy the demand, but I regret to say that this fact so far has exercised little apparent effect in the direction of reducing the prices for home grown mutton and lamb.

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