HC Deb 16 October 1940 vol 365 cc705-6
56. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that grave dissatisfaction exists in all rural areas at the distribution of sugar for jam-making through the medium of the women's rural institutes and the Women's Voluntary Service, as this system places members of these organisations in a privileged position and lends itself to many abuses; and whether he will arrange that all future sugar supplies for jam-making shall be distributed through traders and that purchases should be made by ration cards?

Mr. Boothby

I cannot accept the hon. Member's suggestions that there has been any general dissatisfaction at, or abuse of the schemes for co-operative fruit preservation, which were operated by certain voluntary bodies this year at my Noble Friend's request. Representations on this point have, however, been received from a women's organisation in Scotland, and a conference has been held in my Department with their representatives. My Noble Friend has promised to give careful consideration to their views when plans are being formulated for the issue of sugar for household jam-making next season. While these plans are under consideration I cannot give the undertaking requested in the last part of the hon. Member's Question.

Mr. Mathers

Can the hon. Gentleman say what causes the difference of treatment in respect of this matter in different districts in Scotland?

Mr. Boothby

I really do not know, because it is operated with complete satisfaction in some districts and not with complete satisfaction in others; but I should like to make it clear that the scheme, of course, never applied only to members of these organisations.