HC Deb 14 April 1943 vol 388 cc1215-6
58. Sir Frank Sanderson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he will consider the granting of extra rations of tea and sugar to people of 70 years of age and over who are living alone, in view of the fact that these foods form an important part in the diet of such folk?

Mr. Mabane

My hon. Friend's suggestion has been frequently considered, but my Noble Friend regrets that he would not be justified in departing from his general policy of fixing the domestic ration at the highest possible level for all consumers.

Sir F. Sanderson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a large number of these elderly single folk live in one bedroom and sitting room, where there are no facilities for cooking food; and in view of this fact, that they do not use all their ordinary food coupons, and that a cup of tea is a necessity for these old folk, will he reconsider his decision?

Mr. Mabane

I can assure my hon. Friend that my Noble Friend has considered this matter most sympathetically, and if my hon. Friend considers the position, he will see the tremendous difficulties of introducing such a variation as he suggests here.

Mr. Maxton

If canteens, restaurants and cafés can be open for the sale of cups of tea, surely something can be done for this huge mass of the population?

Mr. Mabane

They are not excluded from British Restaurants.

Viscountess Astor

Will the Minister bear in mind that many of these people simply cannot get to British Restaurants? I can assure him they are suffering real hardship.