asked the Secretary to the Treasury what special steps the Inland Revenue Department is taking to ensure that money received by farmers and poultry keepers as a result of the sale of eggs at black-market prices, is in fact made subject to Income Tax, having regard to the fact that only 45 per cent. of the eggs now produced in this country are passing through packing stations approved by the Ministry of Food.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that will not satisfy the housewife who is getting one egg per ration book when it is known that car owners are getting large numbers and that two can be obtained at one meal in cafes and restaurants? Why has the Inland Revenue not been more active with the farmers and large poultry keepers?
Is my hon. Friend aware that out of the 55 per cent. of the eggs which do not go through the packing stations millions upon millions are produced by people who keep fewer than 25 hens and that it is perfectly legal for them to dispose of those eggs?
Does not the hon. Gentleman understand the elementary point that if the Inland Revenue were getting more money from these farmers more eggs would be going to the packing stations and helping his right hon. and gallant Friend?
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that yesterday in this House the Minister of Food gave details of 186 major cases of black market dealing in eggs, some of them amounting to 17,000 eggs? Will he please have the matter dealt with at once because it will mean a big increase in taxation receipts?
The question of the distribution or the allocation of eggs is, as the hon. Lady knows perfectly well, a matter for my right hon. and gallant Friend and not for me. I am concerned solely with the collection of the income.