HC Deb 01 July 1941 vol 372 cc1204-5
34. Sir Henry Morris-Jones

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his Department will give further consideration to the recent proposals for the rationing of eggs, so far as the population in rural areas is concerned, in view of the curtailment of the milk supply and the fact that in country districts people cannot procure fish or eat in restaurants?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Major Lloyd George)

The scheme which has recently come into operation is concerned only with bringing home-produced eggs under control. An interval must occur before detailed plans can be prepared for the rationing of eggs, both home-produced and imported. My hon. Friend's suggestion will be considered in connection with such plans. In the meantime distribution of eggs under the Ministry's control will be made on the basis of consumer registrations.

Sir H. Morris-Jones

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that in some rural areas people are unable to get the proper quantities of even rationed foods like milk, eggs, cheese and jam, and because of petrol restrictions they are unable to procure fish from the nearest town, and that the rationing scheme as at present working is weighted against the rural dweller?

Major Lloyd George

The hon. Gentleman did not quite hear my answer. There is no rationing of eggs at the moment. The only thing at the moment is that there is a scheme to control and buy eggs, and I have said that my hon. Friend's point will be considered.

35. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether retailers are entitled to insist on customers registered with them taking American eggs instead of British; and whether, in that case, they are expected to state to the purchasers that these eggs, having been in cold storage, will not keep in hot weather for more than a very limited period?

Major Lloyd George

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "No, Sir" But, of course, retailers can only supply their registered consumers with the eggs which they receive for this purpose; in existing conditions these will include a considerable proportion of imported eggs. In reply to the last part of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question, all home-produced eggs sold by retailers will be marked. The position with regard to imported eggs will be no different from what it was before the war.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that new laid eggs will be unobtainable from retailers in the country under his scheme, and was the Ministry of Agriculture consulted before the proposal were made?

Major Lloyd George

Yes, Sir, and I think my hon. and gallant Friend is a little pessimistic about the position.