HC Deb 27 May 1941 vol 371 cc1700-1
37. Mr. McKinlay

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food on whose authority Messrs. Marks and Spencer received 101 cases of oranges from a recent shipment delivered at a certain port; and will he take steps to see that only firms whose main business includes the sale of oranges receive allocations in future?

Major Lloyd George

The allocation to which my hon. Friend refers was made on the authority of the Ministry of Food. The principle upon which oranges are supplied for the branches of multiple stores and co-operative societies is that those shops which were regularly selling oranges in 1939 are entitled to receive supplies in proportion to their past trading. If the suggestion in the latter part of the Question is inconsistent with that principle, my Noble Friend could not accept it.

Mr. McKinlay

Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman take steps to ensure that the small traders who depend on selling fruit for their livelihood will receive some consideration in the allocation, and that multiple firms will not get such large supplies?

Major Lloyd George

The allocations to the stores I have mentioned are based on their pre-war trading and in the proportion of that fruit to the trade.

Mr. Levy

In view of the fact that small greengrocers do not keep the statistics to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers, how is it possible to make the allocation?

Major Lloyd George

Without going into details I can say that, on the whole, the last supply of oranges was distributed very satisfactorily throughout the country.

Mrs. Hardie

When foods are scarce will the Minister see that they are not given to drapery stores which are extending their food departments, but are allocated to shops dealing solely in foodstuffs?

Major Lloyd George

I will naturally look into the question of oranges being supplied to drapers, but I have not come across that. With regard to the multiple stores, many have important branches which include greengrocery departments, and they are entitled to have their proportion as much as anyone else.

Forward to