Fruit

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th June 1945.

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Photo of Mr Francis Douglas Mr Francis Douglas , Battersea North 12:00 am, 6th June 1945

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the extreme shortage of fruit reaching retailers; to what extent this is due to the diversion of supplies through other channels in which exorbitant prices are obtained; and what steps he is taking to deal with this matter.

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

Yes, Sir; because the sale of soft fruit has only just started. I have no evidence of sales through any but the normal trade channels, and when we have sufficient evidence that a sale contravenes our maximum price order a prosecution is instituted.

Photo of Mr Francis Douglas Mr Francis Douglas , Battersea North

If the Minister has no information what are his enforcement officers and the police doing?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

I regret to say that we have had quite a number of prosecutions, mainly of street fruit hawkers, for charging above the maximum prices.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Can the Minister tell us why it is possible to buy British strawberries in expensive restaurants at 2s. 6d. per dish or portion, and it is not possible to buy them in ordinary shops, through the normal channels?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

I would not accept what the hon. Member says.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Strawberries are only to be found in restaurants; they cannot be found in the ordinary markets.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

Can the Minister assure the House that his lack of information is not due to any reluctance on the part of the Government to enforce adequate control?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

I can certainly inform the hon. Member of that, and tell him that the policy I have pursued as Minister of Food is just the same to-day as it was a year ago.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Can we have a photograph of a strawberry placed in the Library?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

We might accompany it by a raspberry, as well.