HC Deb 14 July 1942 vol 381 cc1069-70
57. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he will reconsider the request of a lady, who applied to him on 16th June, for an allocation of sugar to enable her to continue her gifts, amounting in the past two years to 7,000 lbs. of jam, to King Edward VII Hospital at Windsor, No. 5 Canadian Hospital at Taplow and the Chalfont St. Peter Cottage Hospital?

Mr. Mabane

The case in question has been carefully considered. While appreciating the charitable purpose of the lady's activities, I regret that it is not in the public interest to make special allocations of sugar to individuals for the purpose of supplying certain hospitals and Service canteens with jam outside the rationing regulations. The lady has been advised that it is possible for the hospitals to be supplied with jam made from her fruit through the agency of the local Preservation Centre, which operates in accordance with rationing regulations.

Sir A. Knox

May I ask the hon. Gentleman why, in the first instance, this lady's letter to the Ministry of Food, which was dated 16th June was not replied to until 7th July, so that in the meantime hundreds of pounds of soft fruit went to waste; and does he know that this lady has been asked by the Washington Hostel and other American organisations to supply jam to them and that if she has to refuse them jam it will cause an unfortunate feeling, in view of the kindnesses we have received from Americans?

Mr. Mabane

In regard to the first part of the Supplementary Question, as my hon. and gallant Friend knows, I discussed this case with him and saw the lady, and that is one reason why the letter was delayed. I should like to have notice of the second part of the question.