HC Deb 29 January 1941 vol 368 cc563-4
57. Mr. Mathers

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, what arrangements he is making to ensure that miners and other heavy manual workers requiring to carry food are supplied with an adequate ration of cheese which is specially suitable for this purpose?

58. Mr. Daggar

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, whether he has considered the communication from the Arrail Griffin Lodge, Abertillery, of the South Wales Miners' Federation, regarding the existing supply of cheese for mine workers; will he state the nature of his reply; and whether, in view of the increased population due to evacuation and that cheese constitutes the chief item of food of such workers, he will consider augmenting the supply of cheese to this and similar mining areas?

Major Lloyd George

The Arrail Griffin Lodge has been informed that the available supplies of cheese are distributed to retailers throughout the country in proportion to pre-war trade but that supplies are augmented wherever there has been a considerable increase in population. As regards the supply of cheese to miners and other heavy manual workers I would refer to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Price) on 22nd January.

Mr. Mathers

Does not the Minister of Food recognise the necessity for such workers having adequate supplies of cheese, and cannot his Department make a claim upon the available food supplies to the extent of demanding that these workers shall have as much as members of His Majesty's fighting Forces?

Major Lloyd George

The Ministry does keep in mind the necessity of supplying as much cheese as possible to miners, and in mining areas the quantity of cheese available per head of the mining population is higher than the average for the rest of the country.

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

Will my hon. and gallant Friend see to it that agricultural workers should have as much cheese as miners, as their labour is equally valuable?

Mr. Daggar

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware there are instances in mining areas where miners are unable to obtain cheese on many days in the week; and does not he think that it is strange that his Noble Friend should advise those who frequent restaurants to forgo the eating of cheese whereas, on the general question of food supplies, he hesitates to exercise compulsory powers?

Major Lloyd George

The average consumption of cheese in Abertillery in 1939 was 3.5 ounces per head, as compared with the general average for the whole population of 2.5. But I must also point out to the hon. Gentleman that cheese is in short supply, although we hope it will not be short for long.

Mr. Davidson

Can the Minister say what results have resulted from the appeal to the restaurant people not to eat cheese?

Major Lloyd George

The result is that miners are getting a little more.