§ 62. Mr. Denville
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that the International Biscuit Company of Manchester have to send their biscuits to Maryport, White-haven and Carlisle; Carr's of Carlisle to Northampton; Powells of Preston to Yorkshire; Whittakers of Halifax to Ipswich; and what action he proposes to take to better this method of distribution?
§ Mr. Mabane
My hon. Friend is misinformed. The firms mentioned in his Question are under no obligation to send their biscuits to the places he mentioned, and in fact three of them do not do so. The towns he specifies are merely towns within the zone to which these firms are allocated. Before zoning all these firms could send their biscuits anywhere from Land's End to John O'Groats. He will see therefore that zoning by limiting the distances biscuits have to travel already represents a great improvement in wartime distribution bringing with it most substantial economies in transport. No improvement by way of further limitation is at the moment practicable, nor, in the opinion of my Noble Friend, desirable.
§ Mr. Denville
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that several letters have been sent to the Member for Central Newcastle referring to the difficulties in sending biscuits to distant parts of the country?
§ Mr. Mabane
I think the hon. Member does not appreciate that his suggestion means that the zoning should be tighter than it is at present and that, I am sure, would be much against the interests of the firms and against the interests of the country.
§ Mr. Rhys Davies
Is there any difference between sending biscuits from Manchester and the sending of actors and actresses and music-hall artists from Manchester to the same places?