HC Deb 05 August 1941 vol 373 cc1782-3
42. Mrs. Rathbone

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether there is any likelihood of his being able to arrange mobile communal feeding facilities for people, such as agricultural workers, who are unable to reap the benefit of communal feeding at home, thereby eleminating individual waste and providing more ample meals for those employed on heavy manual labour.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Major Lloyd George)

In consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture I have had under consideration the question of the establishment of British Restaurant facilities for the inhabitants of rural areas, including agricultural workers. Inquiries are being made as to the nature of the service best suited to the varied conditions in different parts of the country and, at present, it would appear that small British Restaurants, or Cash and Carry Kitchens, in the more populous rural areas, supplemented where necessary by Mobile Canteen Services, would meet the requirements. Experimental Cash and Carry Kitchens at three centres in Kent are being constructed. The nature of further developments will depend on the experi- ence gained at these centres and on the results of the general inquiries now being made.

Mrs. Rathbone

Is the Minister aware that this is a matter of some urgency in distant areas, where agricultural workers really have not had enough food and to my certain knowledge have lost considerably in weight and in efficiency?

Major Lloyd George

My hon. Friend will realise that this is not a very easy matter to deal with, because of the very point to which she referred, the great distances concerned, but experiments are being made, and as soon as they have been satisfactorily concluded we hope to extend the system.

Sir P. Hurd

Is this work being done in conjunction with the county war agricultural committees?

Major Lloyd George

I could not say that without notice.

Sir Francis Fremantle

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman realise that the harvest begins to-day and that the matter is therefore very urgent?

Major Lloyd George

Does my hon. Friend realise that we have already made arrangements for that?