Oral Answers to Questions — National Mark Scheme.

– in the House of Commons on 24th March 1932.

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Photo of Captain Sir Peter Macdonald Captain Sir Peter Macdonald , Isle of Wight

24.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he has any information to show to what extent the grading and marking of beef under the National Mark Scheme has proved successful in increasing the demands for the home-fed product?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

The scheme referred to has been the subject of investigation recently by an Inter-Departmental Committee. I understand that the Committee's report, which will be published shortly as a Command Paper, contains information as to the effect of beef grading and marking on the demand for the home product, and perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend will await this report.

Photo of Mr Oswald Lewis Mr Oswald Lewis , Colchester

25.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will cause inquiry to be made as to the desirability and practicability of applying a marking order to distinguish foreign from British oysters?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

The statutory procedure for an inquiry such as that suggested by my hon. Friend is regulated by the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926. Under the Act an inquiry cannot be initiated unless an application substantially representative of some interest concerned has been made to the appropriate department. I have not so far received any such application.

Photo of Mr John Burnett Mr John Burnett , Aberdeen North

26.

asked the Minister of Agriculture how large a staff is employed in the marking of meat under the National Mark Beef Scheme; what is the total cost of the salaries paid; and whether, in view of the number of senders who mark their own beef, he will consider making a reduction in the staff employed?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

The staff employed in the marking of meat under the National Mark Scheme consists of 13 meat graders and 11 meat markers, the annual cost being £8,796. So far as I am aware, there are no senders in England and Wales who grade and mark their own beef.

Photo of Mr John Burnett Mr John Burnett , Aberdeen North

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the constituency which I represent there are two Government officers, salaried to mark beef, while 75 per cent. of the senders mark their own beef; and in the interests of that national economy about which my constituents in Aberdeen are so anxious, is he not prepared to consider the matter?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

That question should be put to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Photo of Captain Hon. Michael Knatchbull Captain Hon. Michael Knatchbull , Ashford

27.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he can now snake a statement as to the inclusion of additional products under national mark schemes?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

I have arranged for the extension of the national mark scheme to plums, bottled fruits and vegetables, and honey, during the present year.