HC Deb 23 July 1941 vol 373 cc890-1
54. Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that large quantities of old potatoes were released to wholesale- retailers last week-end, and that in the Rhymney Valley the wholesale-retailers confined the sale of these potatoes to their own shops, refused to give supplies to the ordinary retailer, pocketed the wholesaler and retailer profit, causing great hardship to the population who had to queue up for hours to get their supplies from the wholesale-retailer shops; and whether he proposes to take any action to deal with the problem?

Major Lloyd George

Inquiries are being made, and if my hon. Friend will put down his Question again next week, I will endeavour to let him have a reply.

Mr. Edwards

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that there is a strong feeling in the country that there is too much racketeering going on in the distribution of food, and further that there is great dissatisfaction with the handling of the food problem by his Department, and will he take early steps to try and remove the cause for this opinion?

Major Lloyd George

I entirely disagree with my hon. Friend's contention. I do not think there is an impression of that kind about the distribution of food in this country, and I am quite prepared to substantiate that at any time. There may possibly be dissatisfaction with regard to certain foodstuffs, but with regard to the staple foodstuffs we do not get any complaints. My hon. Friend has made specific reference to potatoes, and I have stated that this will be inquired into.

Captain Strickland

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman take note of the objection raised on the opposite benches towards this step in the direction of the nationalisation of distribution?

63. Mr. Parker

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that there is considerable discontent at the extensive release of potatoes for feeding to pigs during the last six months and the inadequate retention of supplies for human consumption in recent weeks; and whether he can hold an inquiry into the question to see what is the cause of this mistake and who is responsible?

Major Lloyd George

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply to similar Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Jackson) on 9th July

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