§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
asked the Food Controller whether he is aware that last week there were some thousands of tons more meat delivered at Smithfield Market than was the case a year ago; and whether, having regard to this fact and to other circumstances he can see his way to authorise a considerable reduction in the price of meat generally?
The quantity of meat distributed in the Metropolitan area during the week which ended 8th February was 4,015 tons—the amount required to furnish the permitted ration for that week. I may remind the hon. Member that in February, 1918, the rationing of meat supplies had not been brought into operation and the shortage of meat was so acute that butchers were unable to obtain even 50 per cent. of their requirements. It is, therefore, scarcely reasonable to institute a comparison between the two periods. The question of the possibility of effecting a reduction in the price of meat is receiving my close attention.