10th November 1919

MP worries about Jersey’s butter consumption

Frederick Macquisten was the MP for Argyll, but that didn’t stop him showing considerable interest in the Jersey butter situation – and the fact that Jersey might be getting more than its fair share. Standing in the House of Commons on 10 November 1919 he claimed that Jersey had more than enough of its own butter, with considerably more than 10,000 cattle and a population of just 40,000 people. Yet, he claimed, despite this the mainland was exporting its own butter to Jersey, which was then being sold on in France. The only sensible course of action, in his view, was for the Minister of Food Control, Charles McCurdy, to “prohibit the export of butter from England to the Channel Islands”.

With the relevant stats to hand, McCurdy refuted Macquisten’s claim that Jersey had more butter than it knew what to do with, and there was no evidence that butter imported to the mainland was subsequently exported to Jersey. Perhaps hoping to call Macquisten’s bluff, he asked for proof that British butter was ending up on French bread.

Whether Macquisten was ever able to obtain the data he required is unclear; there is no further mention of Jersey’s butter consumption in Hansard, the official record of proceedings in the Houses of Parliament.


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