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The opinion was expressed at a special meeting convened by the North Canterbury Farmers' Union yesterday afternoon "that unless the congestion of storage space at the freezing works is immediately relieved, farmers ariel the freezing companies will be faced with a serious position in a few weeks' time. Mr D. Jones (president of the North Canterbury branch) said that the meeting had been called in connection with the serious position which had arisen through frozen meat not being shipped. The position was especially serious in the case of fat lambs, if the fat stock was not killed within three weeks or a month much of it would go back into store condition, and would have to be held for another year. The Imperial Food Controller had ordered that butter and chejjse should be given freight preference. The Athenic and Hororata were supposed to ship a fair quantity of frozen meat at Lyttelton, but instead those boats had been mostly iiiied up with butter and cheese. Bo much butter and cheese had been •shipped from Canterbury that there was less than 10,000 boxes left in store, and he believed that local supplies would have to be obtained from the North Island. The freight on this would be -J-d per lb. The farmers had sold their meat to the Imperial Government at prices considerably below market values, but they were not complaining on that point. The Hawke's J3ay farmers were complaining > that half of- the 1918 meat was still in the Hawke's Bay stores, but in Canterbury there were lambs of the 1917 season, still in store. The Corinthic was bringing troops to Lyttelton, and she could take 121,000 carcases of mutton, and if she were allowed to load meat entirely from Lyttelton it would materially relieve the position. They should^brine before .the Government the fact tlwtferCantaj'bury farmers were suffering severely on account of weather conditions, and unless' the ■ fat lambs could immediately be killed these would have to go back to stores, and serious loss result. He moved:

" That this meeting of Canterbury farmers desires to bring before the Government the urgent need of prompt action relieve- the present space problem. Canterbury is suffering from a serious drought, and.unless fat lambs are killed in the next three weeks the loss to Canterbury will be exceedingly serious. We are advised that butter and cheese are given preference, but we consider the Government should put meat first, in spite of the Home Controller. We suggest that the Ccrinthic coming to Lyttelton on the 22nd inst. should load meat entirely from Lyttelton. which would materially relieve the position."

Mr G-. Sheat, the president of the Killinchy branch of the N.Z.F.U., in seconding the motion, said that unless something was immediately done to relieve "Elie congestion, Canterbury was up against a serious position. He did not know if the Food Controller had been advised of the serious position which the sheepfarmers were up against, but if he had' not the Government should certainly take action to relieve the position. It was questioned if the Government had poster to override the instructions of the Food Controller. The chairman said he looked at it in I-the liahiiK thai the Government had bought the meat, and it had a duty to fulfil to the country and get the meat shipped away. They were advised that the Imperial Government had purchased huge quantities of American mpat. He did not know if this was reliable information, but the needs of the New Zealand meat producer should certainly be given preference over the American producers. The motion was carried unanimously.

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Bibliographic details

FROZEN MEAT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9583, 10 April 1919

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FROZEN MEAT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9583, 10 April 1919