HC Deb 03 November 1943 vol 393 cc665-6
63. Mr. McKinlay

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that Messrs. Woolworth and Company have nominated as suppliers of canned meats under the points banking system firms who never at any time supplied Messrs. Woolworth with goods; that the registration was made without the knowledge or consent of such firms; and will he take steps to cancel the nominations?

Mr. Mabane

This matter is now being investigated. Declarations by firms, however, of the names of their suppliers of points foods for the purposes of the points banking system are in no sense nominations or registrations and do not confer any right to supplies.

Mr. McKinlay

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is a sharp practice which has been indulged in by chain stores and multiple shops since the beginning of control?

Mr. Mabane

Without passing any opinion whether it is sharp practice or not I would point out that it is certainly inconvenient if firms nominate suppliers with whom they are not dealing, and I think this Question and answer will make that sufficiently plain.

Viscountess Astor

Is it not very unfair to the little shopkeepers who cannot get supplies?

Mr. Mabane

I do not think the Noble Lady has comprehended the Question.