HC Deb 31 October 1945 vol 415 cc423-4
69. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that the Blackburn Co-operative Society has had no allocation of British, Northern Ireland or imported turkeys during the whole period of controlled distribution; and whether, in view of the fact the Society had a large sale of Northern Ireland turkeys before the war, he will take steps to see that they receive an allocation this Christmas.

Sir B. Smith

I understand that the Blackburn Co-operative Society received a small number of imported turkeys last year from the Co-operative Wholesale Society, and that a similar supply will be provided again this year. I do not control the distribution of home-produced turkeys and it would not be practicable to increase the number of towns receiving Northern Irish supplies by the inclusion of Blackburn.

Mrs. Castle

Is the Minister aware that the allocation made last year amounted to one dozen turkeys among 20,000 customers, and is he satisfied with the allocation of Northern Ireland turkeys to the eight big towns of this country, leaving out the smaller towns which have equal rights to enjoy this elusive delicacy?

Sir B. Smith

I can only repeat that the allocation is made by the Co-operative Wholesale Society, from which Blackburn gets its allocation. On the other hand, I have agreed, in an endeavour to attract turkeys to towns such as this, that home-produced turkeys can be sold at 2d. per lb. more.

Squadron-Leader Sir Gifford Fox

Is this "Socialism in our time"?

Sir B. Smith

Yes, Sir.