HC Deb 14 October 1941 vol 374 cc1217-8
2. Sir Irving Albery

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the inequitable distribution of matches; and which class of retailer should supply a householder with matches for household purposes?

Sir A. Duncan

The reduced supplies of matches now available are distributed under licence from the Matches Control, and retailers who normally supply householders with matches for household purposes should be receiving their fair share on the basis of pre-war trading, with adjustments for movements of population. If my hon. Friend has in mind any specific case of inequitable distribution, I will ask the Matches Control to look into the matter.

Sir I. Albery

Is my right hon. Friend aware that grocers are unable to supply their regular customers with matches? I will certainly give my right hon. Friend instances of this.

Sir William Davison

If the Question refers to the supply of matches to grocers and stores, I would point out that I find myself in the same position as my hon. Friend. It is quite impossible to obtain matches.

Sir Herbert Williams

What is the ration?

Sir A. Duncan

The usual source of supply of matches for household purposes is, of course, the grocer, and steps are taken to ensure that a proper pre-war proportion of matches is available.

Sir H. Williams

What is the proportion?

Sir A. Duncan

I am not able to say.