HC Deb 03 December 1941 vol 376 c1136
58. Sir P. Hurd

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware of the unfairness of the pricing of turkeys for the Christmas trade in the smaller towns such as Devizes, the seven per cent. gross allowed for profit meeting no more than overhead expenses, while in larger towns, on each side of Devizes, traders are allowed to charge an extra 2d. per pound; and whether he will take remedial action?

Major Lloyd George

The additional charge of 2d. per lb. permissible in the larger industrial areas scheduled in the Poultry (Maximum Prices) (No. 2) Order, 1941, was intended to steer supplies to those areas which had previously been short. In the absence of control over supplies and distribution, a rough-and-ready expedient of this kind is the only practicable method of influencing distribution. The method was necessarily experimental, and as a result of experience an amending Order has been made which came into force on 1st December which provides an additional charge of 1d. per lb. over the basic price in about 150 other areas which have suffered unduly from the operation of the 2d. charge.

Sir P. Hurd

May we take it that in Devizes we shall get more turkeys for Christmas?

Major Lloyd George

That, I could not say.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say why there is no control either of distribution or purchase from Northern Ireland?

Major Lloyd George

I think the hon. Gentleman knows that reason as well as I do.