Butter.

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies. – in the House of Commons on 20th March 1940.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Gordon Hall Caine Mr Gordon Hall Caine , Dorset Eastern

asked the Minister of Food what arrangements have been made for the disposal of farm-made dairy butter usually made in small quantities and sold locally to private customers or at the local market; and at what price per pound may this butter be sold?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

Farmers who make their own butter may dispose of their output either to registered customers against ration coupons, or to retailers or wholesalers who have to make a corresponding reduction in their applications for National Butter. All sales must be within the terms of the Maximum Prices Order. The maximum retail price under this Order is 1s. 7d. per lb.

Photo of Mr Gordon Hall Caine Mr Gordon Hall Caine , Dorset Eastern

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that owing to the fact that farmers are unaware of the regulation thousands of pounds of butter each week are being buried in the ground?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

I do not accept that, and I hope the hon. Member will drive home in his own part of the country the answer I have given to this question.

Photo of Mr John Morgan Mr John Morgan , Doncaster

Is the farmer entitled to give butter away?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

A person cannot obtain more of a rationed commodity than he is entitled to receive by his coupon.

Photo of Mr Gordon Hall Caine Mr Gordon Hall Caine , Dorset Eastern

Is the farmer entitled to eat his own butter?

Photo of Mr Walter Green Mr Walter Green , Deptford

asked the Minister of Food whether he will give consideration to the possibility of reducing the present price of butter, as many of the poorer section of the community are quite un able to afford to purchase it at the present high price?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

I can see no immediate prospect of reducing the present maximum price of butter without consequent loss to the Exchequer.

Photo of Mr Walter Green Mr Walter Green , Deptford

Is the hon. Member aware that retail sales of butter have gone down considerably in poorer districts since this price was fixed, due to the inability of so many to afford the present price?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

The hon. Member will appreciate that, unlike some subsidised commodities, there is an adequate alternative available.

Photo of Mr Frederick Watkins Mr Frederick Watkins , Hackney Central

How much of the 1s. 7d. per lb. charged goes to the profit of the Government?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

There is no profit to the Government.

Photo of Mr Walter Green Mr Walter Green , Deptford

asked the Minister of Food whether his attention has been called to a case before the Blandford, Dorset, Bench, in which Major Castleman was fined £35 for instructing his dairy man to give away butter rather than that it should be wasted; whether he is aware that during the hearing of this case, evidence was given that a food officer in an adjoining county advised a woman retailer to bury her surplus butter in the garden, rather than it should be given away to those needing it but unable to purchase same; and what action he proposes to take to prevent butter being wasted instead of being used?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

I am aware of the case to which the hon. Member refers, but the full facts are not yet before me, and I am making inquiries.

Photo of Mr Walter Green Mr Walter Green , Deptford

Is the hon. Member aware of the deep revulsion of feeling which this sort of thing is causing, and will he advise the House and traders, if they find themselves with a surplus after having their ration of butter, what they are to do with it other than to destroy it?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

I advise the hon. Member to wait until we make our full inquiries before he makes up his mind on this question.