asked the Minister of Food if he has now considered the representations and proposals of the North Midland Regional Price Regulation Committee in connection with the distribution and sale of spirits; and what steps he now proposes to take for the protection of the public.
The reply to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." In reply to the last part, I do not consider that I would be justified, in undertaking the control of the distribution and sale of wines and spirits.
Does not the Minister know that for some years this racket has gone on against the public and that his Department has done nothing, on the pretence that they have never heard of it? Will he take steps to stop this underground racket, which operates to the detriment of the genuine buyer?
It would mean setting up another large control, taking on a largely increased staff in the Ministry, and issuing a large number of forms to control the distribution of things that are not necessities.
Arising out of that could not the whole position be effectively simplified by a maximum price that has the force of law and not merely a price fixed internally by the distillers, which is obeyed by so few people?