Sir F. HALL
asked the Minister of Food what is the amount of imported meat now in cold storage in this country; what is the approximate quantity which is awaiting discharge from vessels which are unable to obtain dock accommodation; and if, with a view to avoiding a serious wastage from the necessity of condemning the large surplus supplies available owing to their unfitness for consumption, the Government will consider the advisability of reducing the present prices of imported meat?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I have been asked to reply. The quantity of imported meat in cold stores of the United Kingdom on the 21st February was 131,730 tons, of which 93,303 tons were mutton and lamb. On the 24th February nine vessels, with 24,323 tons of meat, were actually in process of unloading in United Kingdom ports, and a further twelve vessels, with 28,393 tons of meat, were waiting for berths to begin unloading; nine other meat ships, with approximately 18,500 tons of meat, arrived in United Kingdom ports between the 24th February and the 29th February. Any loss arising from the deterioration of this meat is negligible. The Government are considering the advisability of further reductions in the price of imported mutton.