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War Economy

The Meat Pool Account

The Meat Pool Account

Though there was no guaranteed price scheme for meat, a pool account had been established in 1941. In the discussions between the Government and the meat industry, agreement had been reached that, in fixing the opening schedule buying prices for the 1941–42 season, the producers should receive substantially the same opening prices as they had obtained in the previous season, but they would forgo any increased prices that might be granted by the United page 329 Kingdom for meat or for pelts. The purposes in view were primarily to provide a fund, known as the Meat Pool Account, to maintain the value of ewe mutton and canning beef at a reasonable level, to meet interest, storage and insurance charges on meat, and to provide for the capital liability on emergency cannery plant and buildings and cool stores. The serious difficulty in shipping meat in this period made it essential to provide greater cool storage space and larger cannery facilities.

It was further agreed that, if at the end of the emergency period a financial surplus remained in the Meat Pool Account, the Government and the Meat Board would consult to determine how any such surplus could be used for the benefit of the industry. Should there be a deficit in the account at the end of the emergency period, such deficit would be the responsibility of the Government. From its inception, the Meat Pool Account showed substantial surpluses, because the anticipated loss on ewe mutton did not eventuate, and because credits to the account from increases in prices received from the United Kingdom Government were considerably augmented by increases in the prices of tallow and slipe wool.