HC Deb 11 February 1948 vol 447 cc68-9W
64. Mr. Bowden

asked the Minister of Food from whence the Wholesale Meat Suppliers' Associations as his agents purchase meat and offals, and to whom as his agents they sell the same; how the commissions paid to these Associations is calculated on such sales and purchases, respectively; and whether, inasmuch as these commissions yielded £3,666,838 in the years 1946–47 to these Associations, he will consider a reduction for the future.

Mr. Strachey

The Wholesale Meat Supply Associations do not purchase meat and offals. They take over the Ministry's goods from cold store or slaughterhouse and sell them on behalf of the Ministry to retail butchers and manufacturers. The commission is calculated on the actual tonnage of meat and offal handled evaluated at the average pre-war wholesale price. The commission covers expenses and a surplus available for distribution to the members. Although usually the tonnage handled now by an association is greater than that handled by the members before the war and the price of meat has increased, the distributable surplus is restricted to the actual pre-war average net profit. When the present tonnage is less than the pre-war tonnage the distributable surplus is reduced. In these circumstances, I do not consider that the commission should be further restricted.