HC Deb 09 June 1943 vol 390 cc714-5
48. Lady Apsley

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether, in any large-scale action taken by the Ministry in future, such as the collection of new ration books and identity cards, which primarily affect women as the main collectors, he will consult reputable women's organisations who are now engaged in war work and who have had great experience in the difficulties which face housewives and who understand their reactions to important undertakings required to help the war effort?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Mr. Mabane)

Yes, Sir, and in the present instance the Women's, Voluntary Service, in response to an, early approach by my Department, under-took to co-operate both centrally and' locally in the issue, with the result that, by means of local consultations, members of the Women's Voluntary Service in many areas have been able to take an invaluable part in the process of distribution. Other women's organisations have also in particular areas willingly co-operated. I am glad of the opportunity to pay a tribute to the many thousands of women who, as voluntary workers, have in various ways given aid alike in the towns and in the countryside.

Mr. McKinlay

Will the hon. Gentleman pay a tribute to the food executive officers, who advised the Ministry before the scheme started that it would be a flop; and will he tell his Noble Friend that it is undesirable that misstatements should be made over the wireless to the effect that the chaos had been caused in the localities?

Mr. Mabane

No such impression was conveyed by my Noble Friend's speech, if the text was studied. The hon. Gentleman, who is chairman of a food executive committee, can appreciate how the arrangements were made.

50. Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food the distances, respectively, that the inhabitants of East and West Torrington, Lindsey, have to travel for their new ration cards?

Mr. Mabane

Those inhabitants of West Torrington who find it inconvenient to attend at the central distributing point will be able to obtain their ration books, clothing coupons, and rational Registration identity cards in the village of West Torrington itself. In the case of East Torrington, the documents will be distributed at a sub-office at Legsby, a mile away.

Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

Why were they told originally to walk 14 miles?

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