HC Deb 11 October 1939 vol 352 cc334-5
57. Mr. Batey

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the stocks of bacon and ham, which it was understood had been provided months ago in case of emergency, had all been consumed before last week?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. Owing to their perishable character, bacon and ham were not among the commodities of which reserves were acquired under the Essential Commodities Reserves Act.

58. Mr. Ritson

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster why, during the whole of last week, neither bacon nor ham was to be obtained by house holders in Durham City; and whether such prohibition applied to Newcastle- upon-Tyne and other towns in the North of England?

Mr. Morrison

I was not aware of the position in Durham City as described by the hon. Member. The shortage of bacon supplies in the country generally is due to the delay in arrivals of shipments from overseas and the cessation of imports from certain countries. A considerable quantity of bacon was in fact allotted for distribution last week in the North East of England.

Mr. Batey

If there were large quantities of bacon for distribution, how is it that there was none in Durham City? I live in Durham City, and I went to the store on Monday morning before coming to this House, and there was no bacon or ham. I went on the Friday when I got back from this House, and there was neither bacon nor ham?

Sir G. Mitcheson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that two of the biggest stores in London were unable to offer any bacon yesterday?

Mr. Morrison

As I have said, there is undoubtedly a shortage of bacon owing to the facts which I have mentioned, and which are quite outside our control.

Mr. Alexander

Will not the Minister introduce a scheme of rationing and see that the thing is properly done?

Mr. Morrison

I am anxious to introduce that as soon as possible.

Miss Ward

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a good deal of bacon held in bond which is going bad?