HC Deb 07 August 1940 vol 364 cc229-30W
Mr. Mathers

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he will arrange for larger supplies of beef being made available in I3athgate and other parts of West Lothian, where there are complaints of shortage of beef and a surplus of mutton; and will he arrange for beef being not too freshly killed when distributed for sale?

Mr. Boothby

The proportion of beef to mutton in the allocations throughout the country has been increased in recent weeks. In the case of home-killed beef this result has followed the seasonal increase in the slaughter of cattle and this increase may be expected to persist for some months. In these circumstances, and having regard to the fact that Bath-gate and other parts of West Lothian, in common with the rest of Scotland, are already receiving a higher proportion of beef in their allocations than Great Britain generally, I regret that I cannot arrange for larger supplies of beef to be made available for those areas. As regards the latter part of the Question, the present practice is similar to that existing prior to control. It is essential to clear the wholesale depots without undue delay but this should not affect adversely the maturing of meat which always has been effected to the best advantage on the retailers' premises.