HC Deb 19 May 1943 vol 389 cc1100-1
48. Sir J. Lucas

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that lobsters have a maximum retail price of 3s. 3d. per lb. where there is no maximum wholesale price; that hotels are buying them wholesale at 5s. 6d. per lb. and that consequently there are none available for the public; and will he take action in the matter?

44. Sir H. Williams

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he will consider a revision of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Food (Shell Fish) Order (Statutory Rule and Order, 1943, No. 631), having regard to the fact that the maximum prices fixed are such that supplies are not likely to be available to the public?

Mr. Mabane

I saw a report in a newspaper to the effect that hotels were buying lobsters at 5s. 6d. a lb. An immediate and exhaustive investigation failed to reveal evidence of any sort to justify the report or that prices above the maximum were being paid by any buyers. In any case the current maximum price of 3s. 3d. a lb. applies to any sale of lobsters. The effect of the Order on supplies and distribution is being watched, and my Noble Friend will take any further action which may be necessary in the light of experience.

Sir J. Lucas

If I send my hon. Friend evidence, will he look into it?

Mr. Mabane

I shall be glad to have the facts on which my hon. and gallant Friend's Question is based.

Mr. Thorne

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the hon. Member for Plaistow received two lovely crabs free of charge yesterday?

Mr. Ralph Etherton

Is there no difference between the wholesale price and the retail price?

Mr. Mabane

There is but one price, 3s. 3d, per lb., in the case of lobsters.