Points-Rationed Foods

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies – in the House of Commons on 18th November 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 Food whether, in view of the fact that there is, apart from the law of contract, no legal obligation upon a retailer to sell points-rationed foods against his will, and the difficulty now experienced by house wives in rural areas in obtaining points- rationed foods in their villages owing to shortage of supplies and in neighbouring towns owing to the frequent unwillingness of retailers to supply such goods, he will consider instituting a system of regional points supply so that each purchaser would be limited to a prescribed area but guaranteed point supplies within that area?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

No, Sir. I regret that my hon. Friend's suggestion could not be operated in practice. There is no evidence that housewives in rural areas are unable to spend their points, although, of course, particular foods in short supply may not always be available.

Mr. Stewart:

Can my hon. Friend tell me—he knows the case I have in mind—how people in small rural villages are to get points rations when the goods are not in supply in the village shops?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

I am informed that while certain articles are not in easy supply anywhere, such as Grade I salmon, there is always an opportunity for people to spend their points, and that the large shops are very anxious that people should spend points with them.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Is not the trouble that the present stocks in every grocer's store are related to the first period of food points as returned by the grocer and that he cannot increase his stocks on that basis?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

No, Sir, that is not so.