Food Committees, Durham

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Supply – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th March 1945.

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Photo of Mr Joshua Ritson Mr Joshua Ritson , City of Durham 12:00 am, 14th March 1945

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that the food committees of Durham Rural and City Councils have decided to resign as a protest against the action of the Ministry in refusing to allow the food executive officer, Miss A. Powley, who had resigned because of ill-health, to withdraw her resignation upon recovery from her illness; and if he will reconsider the case in the light of this serious protest.

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

I considered this case very fully myself before writing to the chairmen of the food control committees concerned. I do not consider that there is any reason to review the decision about which I then told them. I, however, very much hope that the members of these two committees will continue to assist in the essential work which falls to us together to perform.

Photo of Mr Joshua Ritson Mr Joshua Ritson , City of Durham

Is it not a very serious matter that when these two committees ask for a hearing they cannot get a hearing and a deputation is refused? Can there not be the same sort of hearing as was given to the question of Durham Cathedral?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

I did not refuse to meet a deputation. What happened was that the late food executive officer resigned on the ground of continued ill-health, the unsatisfactory premises in which she had to work, the difficulty of controlling staff and the long railway journey from her home. That resignation was accepted. A new food executive officer has been appointed, but if we can find another job for the late food executive officer we shall do so.