§ 9. Mr. FLAVIN
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that there are over thirty bacon-curing establishments in Ireland; whether any of the owners or managers of any of these bacon factories were invited to confer with, or were consulted by, the Food Controller at or before the date he fixed the prices of Irish bacon at 10s. per cwt. under the price of English bacon; and whether he is now prepared to place the Irish bacon on the same level of prices as English bacon?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of FOOD CONTROL (Captain Bathurst)
The prices referred to were settled by the London and Provincial Produce Exchange at a meeting which included representatives of Irish bacon curers. The prices will be subject to revision after a fortnight, when the Food Controller will be careful to consider any representations which may be made to him on this matter.
§ Mr. FLAVIN
Why was the price of Irish bacon fixed at 140s. per cwt., seeing that leading wholesale provision dealers in this City are advertising Canadian bacon, which is inferior in quality and cheaper in price, at a wholesale price of 152s. per cwt.?
There is always a difference in the English market between prices of English and Irish bacon. These differences have to be taken into account, but should not be exaggerated.
The prices were not fixed by the Food Controller, But were fixed by representatives of the trade, and assented to by him. As I have already informed the hon. Gentleman, if there is any danger of food prices being raised unduly against the public, the Food Controller will certainly interfere.
That was the actual original question addressed to me, and I replied that representatives of the Irish bacon curing trade were consulted.
§ Mr. FLAVIN
Were the Irish bacon curers living in Ireland consulted directly, or was it only their English representatives here in London?
I cannot add to the answer which I have given. I can only say that that section of the trade was duly consulted. If the hon. Gentleman has any representations to make, as I have already told him, they will be most sympathetically considered before these prices are revised.