HC Deb 08 November 1939 vol 353 cc213-5
55. Mrs. Tate

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether any differentiation is to be made between boys and girls in the adolescent ration card?

72. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what will be the supplementary ration of butter and bacon to heavy workers?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. W. S. Morrison)

As the hon. Members will be aware the Government consider it necessary to ration at present only two articles of food, bacon and butter, and no special provision for adolescents, whether boys or girls, is considered necessary in respect of these two foods. No question of differentiation, therefore, arises.

Mrs. Tate

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some of us have seen the original ration cards in which a differentiation was made between boys and girls; and may I take it that the Govern ment have at last seen the light and intend to treat men and women on a more equal footing?

Mr. Morrison

As regard the first part of the question, ration cards printed a long time ago did make provision for every eventuality. In the present circumstances no differentiation is necessary.

Miss Rathbone

Will the Minister undertake before deciding on the rations to consult some of the leading medical men in the country? Is he aware that some of them have already expressed the opinion that the needs of the adolescent female are just as great as the needs of the adolescent male?

Mr. Morrison

I have said that there is no differentiation between boys and girls, and I may tell the hon. Member that we did consult medical men before coming to a decision.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Am I to understand that in the case of manual labour there is to be no supplementary rations of butter and meat?

Mr. Morrison

As I have said, these matters were considered, and the result of that consideration, after taking advice from labour circles, is that a supplementary ration is unnecessary.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that industrial workers in the National Register were asked to indicate whether they were heavy manual workers for the purpose of providing supplementary rations? Industrial workers will be thoroughly disappointed with the decision.

Mr. Morrison

They were asked in the register to state whether they were heavy manual workers in case such a system should be devised which would make a supplementary ration advisable. In the present state of supplies no supplementary ration is desirable.

57. Mr. Hannah

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will give an undertaking that no scheme of rationing food will make it difficult to serve, as at present, hot meals to children in schools?

Mr. Morrison

I can give my hon. Friend the assurance that in any rationing scheme which may be introduced, every endeavour will be made to obviate difficulties in the service of school meals.

61. Mr. White

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether, in the preparation of rationing schemes, he will give careful consideration to those materials used in the preparation of fried fish and baked meats, and the needs of the population for whom they cater?

Mr. Morrison

The answer is in the affirmative. As the hon. Member will be aware, the rationing scheme which I announced last Wednesday does not include the materials to which he refers.

62. Mr. White

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether, in the preparation of food-rationing schemes, he has considered and given full weight to the information about the diet of the people collected by the Ministry of Labour in cost-of-living investigation?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Member will be aware, from the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour on 5th October last, that the analysis of the information collected for the purpose of the cost-of-living investigation is not yet complete, and the results are not yet available for use. I can, however, assure him that information on normal consumption is carefully considered in connection with all proposals for rationing.

81. Captain Plugge

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether, before introducing rationing, he will make an appeal to the public to consume less of those commodities such as butter and bacon, of which there is a shortage, with the object of seeing whether, if the response were adequate, he could avoid rationing altogether?

Mr. Morrison

I have already appealed for economy in the use of foodstuffs and I have every confidence in the public response, but having regard to the present reduction of our supplies of bacon and butter, I consider that it is desirable to introduce a rationing scheme for these commodities in order to ensure their equitable distribution.

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