HC Deb 30 May 1945 vol 411 cc216-7
54. Lieut.-Colonel Marlowe

asked the Minister of Food whether it is a condition of the granting of a catering licence that the applicant should have been in similar business before the war or whether the policy is to give preference to such individuals; and how many licences, particularly in the ice-cream business, have been granted to persons of Italian or German origin.

Colonel Llewellin

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "No, Sir." In general, a licence for a new catering business is not granted unless the business is required to meet the essential needs of consumers, but this condition is not applied in the case of an ex-trader released from the Forces or from work of national importance who wishes to reopen a former business which he closed as a result of the war. With regard to the latter part of the Question, I regret that the information is not available.

Lieut.-Colonel Marlowe

Has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman any idea of how many licences have been issued to Italians? What steps is he taking to ensure that a reasonable proportion of these licences are reserved for men who have been serving overseas, and to ascertain that they are issued to such men?

Colonel Llewellin

To get an accurate account I should have to circulate 1,200 food offices; but I know that no Italian has got a licence unless there has been a consumer need, and normally only in cases where Italians have bought existing businesses and want to carry them on.

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