asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, whether it is the intention of the Government to allow to producers of mutton the same right of appeal to deadweight which the Government graders themselves claim?
Major Lloyd George
I assume that in referring to Government graders my hon. Friend intends to refer to the livestock inspectors of the Ministry of Food who have certain limited powers to decide that sheep and other animals should be sent to the slaughterhouse for grading on the basis of their actual carcase weights. The certifying authorities who carry out the grading have no such powers. The grading of fat stock at each collecting center444W is carried out by a certifying authority composed of three persons, one of whom is a farmer. The Ministry take all possible steps to ensure that the grading is carried out fairly and uniformly at all collecting centres and a staff of specially qualified Inspectors is employed for that purpose. Consideration has been given to the question of allowing producers the right to appeal against the decision of the graders in cases where they are dissatisfied, but the complexity of the arrangements for the operation of any such scheme on a national basis would render it unworkable. There is no indication of any general desire for a right of appeal which, if granted, would have to be equally available to the Ministry as to the farmers. The answer to my hon. Friend's question is therefore in the negative.