45. Mr. Adamson
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, the reason for a shortage of meat, bacon and cheese below the normal ration during two or three weeks in Cannock, Staffordshire, and the adjacent surrounding areas; and whether he can take steps to remedy the matter?
Major Lloyd George
A shortage of meat occurred in the districts referred to during the week ended 18th January owing to the very severe weather conditions then prevailing which seriously delayed transport of imported meat from the cold stores. During the following week deliveries to the butchers were up to requirements, but part of them arrived too late in the week for cutting up and sale to customers. The butchers, however, knowing that the meat was on its way, took orders for it which they were unable to deliver until the following Sunday or Monday. Steps are taken to ensure that every district receives its due allocation of meat and every effort is made to anticipate difficulties which arise through severe weather. As to bacon, my Noble Friend is not aware of any shortage on the ration in the Cannock area. But in a few isolated cases delivery to retail shops has been delayed owing to inclement weather conditions. Cheese is, at present, in short supply, but there is no evidence that the relative rate of distribution in the Cannock area has been less than in other parts of the country.
Major Lloyd George
One has to rely to a large extent on the retail distributing 936 arrangements which were in existence before the war started.
Has not experience been gained during the last two years in the light of transport and other difficulties?
§ Mr. Rhys Davies
Does the hon. and gallant Member receive reports from local food officers as to shortages of meat and cheese? Is he aware that in several other parts of the country cheese is absolutely unobtainable and the ration of meat is below the full amount?