Oral Answers to Questions — North Vegetable Market, Liverpool (Repair).

– in the House of Commons on 2nd July 1942.

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Photo of Captain Bertie Kirby Captain Bertie Kirby , Liverpool Everton

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the representations from the town clerk of Liverpool regarding the need for repairs and improvements to the North Vegetable Market, Liverpool; for what reasons he refuses to sanction such repairs, &c.; and whether, as the traders and workers who use this market are unanimous in their opinion that the present state of the market is likely to have a damaging effect upon the health of those working there, many of whom are females who have replaced male relatives now in the Armed Forces, he will now sanction the proposed improvements as being essential to the war effort?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

The re-paving work in question cannot lawfully be carried out at present unless expressly authorised under powers conferred upon me by the Defence Regulations. After consultation with my Noble Friend the Minister of Food I was unable to satisfy myself that the work was of such urgent necessity as to warrant, in present circumstances, the heavy call on labour and materials involved. I have not received any representations from the Corporation of Liverpool on health grounds, and it is not clear to me in what way the continuance of the present condition of the market can constitute a risk to health such as to outweigh the need for conserving labour and materials for other purposes directly connected with the prosecution of the war.

Photo of Captain Bertie Kirby Captain Bertie Kirby , Liverpool Everton

If the right hon. Gentleman has not already received representations from the town clerk, will he reconsider the position if he does receive representations?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I will always look at any new facts.

Photo of Captain Bertie Kirby Captain Bertie Kirby , Liverpool Everton

But is not the Minister aware that the people concerned in this matter are unanimous that something should be done?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I know that the Liverpool Fruiterers' Association have made a general allegation about the effect on health, but I have no evidence that that is so, and the Ministry of Food has informed me that all the selling is done outside the market.

Photo of Mr David Logan Mr David Logan , Liverpool Scotland

Is not the Minister aware that this distributing centre is the only place we have in Liverpool, and that this matter is likely to deter people coming in, with the result that vegetable produce is not likely to be distributed? This place is rotten from the point of view of sanitation and is detrimental to health.

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

It is quite clear that the two hon. Gentlemen do not agree. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. Logan) is now arguing on a peace-time basis, but he and the House must understand that there are vital needs for labour and material and that there are many things a Minister would like to do, but cannot de nowadays.

Photo of Captain Bertie Kirby Captain Bertie Kirby , Liverpool Everton

But are we in Liverpool not justified in making representations with a view to getting this state of affairs remedied?