HC Deb 10 July 1941 vol 373 cc316-7
65. Mr. Lipson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether, in view of a recent prosecution which has caused some concern, he will indicate the policy of his Department towards those who have followed advice given to them and laid in a reserve store of food?

Major Lloyd George

The facts of the case to which my hon. Friend probably refers were extreme, as the person concerned had stored one ton of food in a household of three persons. The policy of my Department in regard to the Acquisition of Food (Excessive Quantities) Order has been previously stated in the House and is unchanged. The Order excludes from its scope reasonable stocks accumulated by householders in accordance with advice given by Ministers before the outbreak of war. The Order will, however, be enforced against persons who now acquire excessive quantities of food.

Mr. Lipson

While I thank my hon. and gallant Friend for his very reassuring reply, can he give an assurance to the House that it is not the intention of the Minister to have a search made into houses of law-abiding citizens?

Major Lloyd George

I think that is a matter which must be left entirely to discretion. If we are satisfied that there has been hoarding, I think we are perfectly entitled to make an examination. It is clearly laid down what is the "normal quantity," but we have no desire to search all houses in this country.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Was this person a munition worker or a miner?

Mr. Davidson

Will my hon. and gallant Friend keep in mind that most of the workers of this country are quite willing to have their houses searched for extra food?

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