HC Deb 06 March 1940 vol 358 cc388-9
69. Mr. James Hall

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the difficulties experienced by owners of motor lorries engaged in transferring foodstuffs from farms and railheads to the various distributing centres, because of their inability to obtain a sufficient allowance of petrol; and, as there is a likelihood, in some cases, of home-grown perishable foodstuffs not being marketed unless some assistance is forthcoming from his Department, will he be willing to consider cases brought to his notice, with a view to preventing the unnecessary loss of food?

Captain Wallace

I am writing to the hon. Member to-day in regard to two specific cases he has brought to my notice and shall be glad to investigate any others.

Mr. Hall

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the Ministry of Food have made recommendations that an increased petrol ration should be granted for the movement of foodstuffs and that the Ministry of Transport have refused, and does not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman believe that the inability of his Department to agree with the desires of the Ministry of Food shows a lack of co-ordination among Government Departments?

Captain Wallace

A great many Departments would like to have a larger share of the rations which the Ministry of Mines gives me to divide out. What I have to do is to decide the relative priority. In regard to the particular cases about which the hon. Member wrote, one appeared to be a case of wasteful petrol consumption, and in the other case we are going to give a bigger ration.

Sir J. Nall

Does my right hon. and gallant Friend realise that a great many lorries in the countryside have now been re-registered as agricultural lorries and get an unlimited supply of petrol from the Ministry of Mines?

Captain Wallace

That is a different question, and perhaps my hon. Friend will put it down.