52. Sir F. HALL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what grounds the information contained in the National Food Register is not to be used for supplying particulars required by registration officers for the purposes of compiling the lists of voters under the Representation of the People Act; whether he is aware that the withholding of this information will cause additional work, and, owing to the shortage of labour, it will be practically impossible to obtain the canvassers required; and whether, under the circumstances, he will request registration officers and those appointed under the food control to supply each other with the information desired in order that the work may not be duplicated?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of FOOD (Mr. Clynes)
I have been asked to reply to this question. The hon. and gallant Member presumably refers to the local register which has been set up in connection with the sugar distribution scheme. I stated on 13th December, in answer to the hon. Member for West Newington, that forms of application for tickets under that scheme were not intended for use by any other Department. It is not proposed to vary this decision, in view of the fact that Parliamentary registration officers are, under the Representation of the People Act, given access to the National Register compiled under the National Registration Act, 1915.
Sir F. HALL
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if it will not facilitate matters in any case when Parliamentary agents and agents of the Food Controller are in the same building, if they each had access to the various lists; otherwise they would be duplicating the work?
§ Mr. CLYNES
My answer indicates that a pledge on the part of the Government has been given. My hon. and gallant Friend sometimes criticises the Government for not keeping their pledges, but I hope on this occasion he will not criticise when they have kept it.