HC Deb 28 July 1943 vol 391 cc1577-8
64. Mr. Denville

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that under the present zoning system biscuit sellers are compelled to buy from Edinburgh, 130 miles away, whilst biscuits are available from old-established firms at Carlisle, 60 mites, and South Shields, 10 miles, respectively; and is he prepared to review the position?

67. Mr. R. J. Taylor

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that in zoning biscuits he has precluded in some cases business men from taking their supplies from adjacent manufacturers; and will he see to it that they do not have to accept their biscuits from three and four times the distance?

Mr. Mabane

The production of biscuits in Scotland is in excess of the quantity required for consumption in that country in existing circumstances. It is, therefore, essential to arrange for the movement to the North of England of biscuits made in Scotland. Biscuits made in the North of England can then be moved further South. My Noble Friend is satisfied that the existing arrangements result in total in a substantial saving in transport and he sees no occasion to review them at present.

Mr. Denville

Is it not possible to send surplus biscuits from Scotland to a district where they do not make biscuits instead of to the Tyne where we do make them; and, incidentally, is the hon. Gentleman also aware that South Shields cannot sell its biscuits on its own doorstep, or in your own constituency, Mr. Speaker, and cannot something be done about this?

Mr. Mathers

Is the Minister aware of the, absurdity of sending biscuits from Edinburgh to Tyneside to be sent back more than half the way to Edinburgh in order to be sold, while Edinburgh manufacturers of biscuits are not allowed to send biscuits to Glasgow 47 miles away, where they want the high quality biscuits which are made in Edinburgh?

Mr. Mabane

Of course, that is not in the least the position. The hon. Members' statements are not accurate. If biscuits were not sent from Scotland to Northern England they would have to be sent far further South, because Scotland is an exporting area for biscuits, and the cost of transport would be considerably greater because they would be sent to the South of England.

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