Oral Answers to Questions — Retail Deliveries

– in the House of Commons on 11th September 1942.

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Photo of Sir James Henderson-Stewart Sir James Henderson-Stewart , Fife Eastern

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport, in how many of the 72 towns in Scotland and 761 towns in England and Wales, respectively, having populations of 5,000 or over retail delivery rationalisation schemes, drawn up in consultation with and/or approved by the Ministry, are now in operation; in how many of these cases in Scotland and in England and Wales, respectively, delivery of any controlled article, otherwise than at the seller's premises, except in the circumstances defined in Clause 4 of the St. Andrew's Order, is prohibited; and in how many cases the schemes permit of weekly deliveries to the homes of the people of mixed parcels of seven pounds and over, containing different kinds of controlled articles?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

More than 2,000 rationalisation schemes are now in force in England, Scotland and Wales. I cannot say without laborious inquiry how many of these schemes are in towns of 5,000 inhabitants or more, nor how many embody the special provisions referred to by my hon. Friend. Many of them, however, set up a defined zone, within which no deliveries may be made, except when hardship is proved. In some cases, an exception is also made for parcels exceeding a specified weight, usually 14 lb.

Mr. Stewart:

Surely my hon. Friend can tell us in how many large towns these schemes are operating in Scotland and in England and Wales? I could find out myself with a great deal of trouble, but I want him to help me?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

I am afraid it would take my officials a great deal of trouble, because the numbers of schemes are not related to the population of the town. In the largest cities and towns there are more than one scheme, and that makes it a complicated matter, which would require detailed inquiry in each area.

Mr. Stewart:

Will the hon. Gentleman give the figure for the 72 towns in Scotland of 5,000 and over? It is doubtful whether in 10 per cent. of these towns such a scheme is enforced.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

If the hon. Member had given me notice of that figure, I would have looked into it. I will now look into it and let him have an answer.