asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food why the grocery and provision business of G. Rowell Ward, of Stradbroke, Suffolk, is not allowed any male assistants in the same way as other comparable businesses in this district, in view of the fact that it serves a large number of customers in a wide rural area; and whether he will remedy this matter?
I know of no ground for supposing that the business of G. Rowell Ward is not allowed to employ male assistants. I am aware of certain other circumstances in connection with the business to which my hon. Friend has drawn my attention, but if he will give me details of any further difficulties, I shall be glad to examine the matter.
Will the hon. Gentleman take into consideration that the present owner, a widow, has five sons serving in the Forces and that her husband died of overwork; and will he recommend to the appropriate Department that the eldest son should be allowed on compassionate grounds to come back from the Forces to assist in running this business?
I am well aware of the particular hardship in this case, where five sons have volunteered for service. It is not within the province of my Department to make an application of the nature to which my hon. Friend refers, but if he will discuss it with me afterwards, I shall be glad to see what can be done.
In view of the fact that I have been in communication with the hon. Gentleman's Department for several weeks and that the position is serious, will he now give me an assurance that something will be done?