Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies. – in the House of Commons on 12th February 1941.

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Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that cheese and the full ration of meat valued at 1s. 2d. are unobtainable in several parts of the country; and can he do anything to remedy this?

Photo of Mr John McGovern Mr John McGovern , Glasgow Shettleston

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware of the growing discontent in Glasgow at the failure to secure the amount of meat allowed by ration order, and that many families cannot secure their proper amount from the butchers, and in a number of cases no meat has been secured due to a very severe shortage; and what steps he is proposing to take to remedy this?

Major Lloyd George:

I am not aware that consumers in Glasgow are unable to secure their ration allowance of meat from their butchers. I recognise that for a few weeks difficulties have been experienced in the distribution of meat, but I am not aware that at the present time consumers in Glasgow or indeed anywhere else are unable to secure their ration of meat from their butchers. I welcome the opportunity of stating that the amount of meat distributed by the Ministry is in the aggregate after making necessary allowance for wastage in cutting, sufficient fully to meet the ration of 1s. 2d. In addition to this, in the event of any butcher finding himself towards the end of the week short on his ration the Ministry has arranged for a special reserve of canned meat which is, at the discretion of the deputy meat agent in the district, to provide for such special cases. In these circumstances, provided the butcher is carrying out his instructions, there is no reason for any consumer not being served with the full ration of meat. Cheese is in short supply at present, but I have no evidence that any area of the country is not receiving its fair share of the available supplies. Retailers have been advised to spread their sales as evenly as possible from one allocation to three.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that his reply will cause consternation in the country? Will he say, in view of the fact that it is possible to prosecute a butcher who gives more than 1s. 2d. worth of meat, who can be prosecuted if 1s. 2d. worth is not there?

Major Lloyd George:

The hon. Gentleman says that this will cause consternation, but it is about time it was stated that, at any rate as far as the distribution is concerned, the quantity of meat which will provide 1s. 2d. worth has been distributed. If there are cases where people are unable to get their supplies, I shall be grateful if hon. Members will bring them to my attention, because we are anxious that these inquiries should be pursued in the localities concerned.

Photo of Mr Robert Taylor Mr Robert Taylor , Morpeth

How long has the supply of canned foods to augment the meat supply been in operation, because in my district 10d. worth of meat has been the whole of the ration?

Major Lloyd George:

I cannot say without notice, but it has been in operation for some time.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

While I accept the Minister's word that the supplies have been distributed to the areas, can he assure us that those supplies are distributed equitably among the traders in the particular areas?

Major Lloyd George:

It is our object to see that the amount of meal available has been distributed, and it is our duty to see it is distributed fairly. That is why I am anxious for hon. Members to bring to my attention cases of which they know where it is not.

Photo of Mr William Leach Mr William Leach , Bradford Central

Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman know that anyone well enough off to dine each day at a hotel can get far more than his 1s. 2d. worth of meat, and is it not time that something was done in regard to that?

Major Lloyd George:

I cannot accept altogether what my hon. Friend says about that. As a matter of fact, canteens come in the same category as hotels, and what affects hotels affects canteens, which are very important to the working population. An Order will be issued shortly to make it prohibitive to provide more than one rationed dish at a time in restaurants.