HC Deb 31 October 1945 vol 415 cc424-5
68. Miss Rathbone

asked the Minister of Food what quantity of champagne has recently been or is about to be imported into this country; how much ship space it will occupy; and whether arrangements will be made to ensure that this wine shall be used only for the benefit of patients requiring stimulants, regardless of means.

Sir B. Smith

The net weight of champagne which will be imported from France by the trade is 435 tons; the gross weight is approximately 1,600 tons. 85,000 cubic feet of shipping space will be employed, but the wine will not be shipped at the expense of any commodity of greater importance. I am afraid that it would not be practicable to adopt the suggestion made by the hon. Member in the last part of her Question.

Miss Rathbone

Is it not anomalous that a Socialist Government should facilitate the import of this costly luxury at a time when shipping is scarce and when, even in this country, thousands are under nourished, and in Europe—

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker rose

Sir T. Moore

Has the right hon. Gentleman tested any of these beverages?

Miss Rathbone

Am I not to have a reply to my supplementary question?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Lady cannot have a reply. She did not ask a proper question; she only made an accusation. Questions should be asked to obtain information, and not to make accusations.