HC Deb 06 November 1940 vol 365 cc1367-8W
Mr. R. Morgan

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, whether he can state the reasons for the refusal of a packing station licence to the firm of M. and T. J. Watney, of Bexley, Kent, on the ground that, although they have the most modern electrical equipment and have admittedly always turned out a first-class article, they do not exceed their normal output of 200,000 eggs per year; whether he is aware that this policy of compelling firms of their efficiency to sell their eggs at lower than the price charged by bigger firms is unfair to the small trader, and, if persisted in, will drive them out of business; and whether he will re-examine the refusal in this particular case.

Major Lloyd George

The object of establishing licensed packing stations for eggs was to induce the flow from the producing areas to the large towns of a fair proportion of the supply of home produced eggs which, owing to the fixing of uniform maximum prices, would otherwise have been sold in or near the producing areas. It is one of the conditions of the licence granted to a packing station under the scheme that the station shall, if required by the Minister, sell eggs to such purchasers as may be directed by him. In order that the object of the Packing Stations Scheme may be achieved it is necessary to take into account the output of a station before a licence is granted. The output of the firm in question is well below the minimum figure considered to be desirable for a licensed packer under the scheme. This firm can sell eggs under categories D.I. and D.II, but they are not entitled to the higher maximum prices for eggs passing through packing stations which is intended to cover the cost of collection of the eggs, of passing them through the packing station and of delivery to wholesalers or retailers.

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