Wholesale Meat Supply Associations (Commission)

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th November 1949.

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Photo of Mr John Leslie Mr John Leslie , Sedgefield 12:00 am, 7th November 1949

asked the Minister of Food what sum of money is paid per ton to the Wholesale Meat Supply Association for their services as agents between his Department and the retail buying groups; and if this tonnage payment has varied from year to year.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee

The average rate of gross commission paid in 1948–49 to the eight Wholesale Meat Supply Associations was £2 5s. 3d. per ton. The rate of commission has varied from year to year owing to fluctuations in expenses and in the tonnage handled.

Photo of Mr John Leslie Mr John Leslie , Sedgefield

asked the Minister of Food the amount of money paid each year to the Wholesale Meat Supply Association for their services as agents between his Department and the retail buying groups.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee

As the answer is a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr John Leslie Mr John Leslie , Sedgefield

Is there any time limit for the ending of these payments, which retailers consider a wicked waste of public money?

Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee

No, there is no such time limit, but perhaps my hon. Friend has read the programme which is under consideration by the Labour Party, saying that we are all in agreement that a time must come when these payments shall end.

Photo of Mr Charles Royle Mr Charles Royle , Salford West

Can my right hon. Friend say what percentage of the amount paid to the Wholesale Meat Supply Association goes in salaries, wages and expenses, what percentage is left for dispersal as dividends or compensation, and whether it is not time that we looked into the question of jobs for the old boys?

Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee

Not without notice, but I repeat that none of us on these benches regards the present situation as satisfactory, and that is why we have made proposals to end it once and for all by nationalisation.

Photo of Sir Archer Baldwin Sir Archer Baldwin , Leominster

Is the Minister aware that these old boys would be only too pleased to get back to the jobs which were taken from them when the war started and the Minister of Food was only too pleased to make use of the machinery?

Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee

Yes, in principle there are only two things that can be done in the end: complete decontrol or operation on public account by a public corporation. One thing or the other will have to be done.

Photo of Mr Philip Piratin Mr Philip Piratin , Stepney Mile End

Can the Minister give the House an assurance that no meat wholesaler is being imbursed by the Government for doing nothing at all?

Following is the statement:

The total gross commission paid to the eight Wholesale Meat Supply Associations in each of the last nine financial years was as follows:

£
1940–414,102,535
1941–423,447,667
1942–433,231,708
1943–443,149,890
1944–453,135,283
1945–463,291,568
1946–473,666,838
1947–483,687,995
1948–493,708,771