§ 32. Mr. C. Wilson (for Mr. Sorensen)
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, whether he is considering the extension of the personal rationing scheme to meals taken in hotels and restaurants; and whether he will ensure that no hospital, children's home or similar institution shall lack suitable foodstuffs if these are available to hotels and expensive restaurants?
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Major Lloyd George)
My Noble Friend is not satisfied that the extension of the personal rationing scheme, through the collection of coupons for meals taken in catering establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, works' canteens, community kitchens, etc., is as yet necessary for controlling the consumption of rationed food away from home. As I informed my hon. Friend the Member for Frome (Mrs. Tate) and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for East Leicester (Mr. Lyons) on 11th December, the terms upon which rationed food may be obtained by and consumed in catering establishments are already under close examination, but in view of the extent to which all classes of the community find it essential to take some meals away from home the question is one of considerable complexity. I have no information to suggest that hospitals, children's homes and similar institutions are short of suitable foodstuffs, and if my hon. Friend has a special case in mind, I shall be glad to look into it if he will supply me with details.
§ 33. Mr. C. Wilson (for Mr. Sorensen)
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, whether he is aware that in many cases housewives are finding considerable difficulty through shopkeepers 804 refusing to serve them with certain non-rationed commodities when the shopkeepers perceive, some weeks in advance, through information in ration books that the housewives intend wholly or partly to change their retailer for rationed foodstuffs; and whether he will make arrangements that in future ration books shall not intimate intended change of retailer or at least for not more than six days before the change becomes operative?
Major Lloyd George
I am not aware that housewives have been experiencing the difficulty to which my hon. Friend refers. Changes of registration with retailers must be effected by means of documents attached to ration books, and in order that the necessary supplies may be made available in the case of retailers whose registrations show an appreciable increase, information of the changes must be known well in advance of the date when they will become operative. I am afraid, therefore, that my hon. Friend's suggestion cannot be adopted.