HC Deb 22 August 1945 vol 413 c612
59. Colonel Erroll

asked the Minister of Food what steps he is taking to diminish the size of queues outside food-shops.

The Minister of Food (Sir Benjamin Smith)

I can see no short cut to the abolition or the substantial reduction of food queues. They will, however, diminish as soon as supplies of unrationed foodstuffs and the number of shop assistants increase. Every effort is being made to obtain additional labour for retail food shops and I am also doing my utmost to secure a fair share of the available world food supplies for consumption in this country.

Colonel Erroll

Will the right hon. Gentleman urge that individuals forming queues shall not be summoned for causing an obstruction?

Sir B. Smith

Perhaps that question had better be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.

Mr. Royle

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the fact that, in the main, food queues are at shops where unrationed commodities are sold, and is he prepared to consider a closer control of those unrationed foods?

Sir B. Smith

I am willing to take into consideration any factor that will diminish queues.

Sir W. Smithers

Would not the situation be considerably eased if the right hon. Gentleman could arrange for more licences and permits to be granted for opening many more shops, especially in the case of ex-Servicemen?

Sir B. Smith

Yes, Sir, always on the assumption that the Servicemen are released.