HC Deb 29 January 1941 vol 368 cc560-1
53. Mr. Higgs

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, whether he is aware that soldiers, many of whom are doing sedentary work, are allowed eight ounces of meat per day, while the allowance to men performing hard manual labour in civil life is only two or three ounces a day; and can he see his way clear to make a more equitable distribution of this important food?

59. Sir Herbert Williams

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that officials working in Government Departments, who are in uniform, are rationed for food on a substantially larger scale than civilians doing similar work in the same Departments: and will he take steps to bring this anomaly to an end?

Major Lloyd George

The question of rations for Service personnel is one that falls primarily within the province of the Service Departments, and my Noble Friend is bringing to the notice of those Departments the views expressed by my hon. Friends.

Mr. Higgs

Does my hon. and gallant Friend seriously consider that there is any justification at all for the soldier at present in this country receiving four times as much meat as the munition worker, and is it not the case that the former receives meat and not sausages?

Major Lloyd George

As I have pointed out before, the question of rationing for the Services is a matter primarily for the Service Departments, but, as I stated in my answer, my Noble Friend is bringing the points in the Questions of my hon. Friends to the notice of these Departments.

Sir W. Davison

Is it not purely a matter of negotiation between the two Departments in the existing circumstances?

61. Mr. T. Smith

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, whether he is aware that the pork section of the Castleford Meat Retailers Committee have passed resolutions of protest against Circular D.M.R. 3/51, on the ground that they are unable adequately to supply workers engaged in heavy trades with necessary products, and urging that they should have guaranteed 60 per cent. of all classes of manufacturing meat at regular weekly intervals; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?

Major Lloyd George

The revised arrangements for the distribution of pork outlined in the circular quoted by the hon. Member were discussed with representatives of the pork section of the national organisations of butchers before they were put into operation. The Ministry fully appreciates the importance of pork butchers in their capacity as meat manufacturers, and under the arrangements in the circular referred to it is hoped that these butchers will be able to increase their output of manufactured meat products such as sausages and meat pies. The Ministry will continue to do all that is practicable to help pork butchers in this respect consistent with the equitable treatment of other manufacturers and the requirements of consumers in districts where there are no or only few pork butchers.

Mr. Smith

Can my hon. and gallant Friend say whether he is satisfied that these particular butchers get a fair allocation and whether he is aware that one of their complaints is that some of the large chain stores have more of these products to sell than the small butchers? Will he satisfy himself that these butchers get a fair allocation?

Major Lloyd George

I will.

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