HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 cc2680-1
55. Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Food when freedom will again be restored to the public to choose their own retailers.

Sir B. Smith

The public will again be given an opportunity to change their retailers, except for milk, at the beginning of the new rationing year, 21st July. I am considering the possibility of allowing further changes during the course of the rationing year.

Mr. Erroll

In view of the fact that milk supplies are more abundant than for a long time, why cannot the Minister allow the same freedom to be accorded to people to choose their own dairy as is accorded to people to choose their own baker?

Sir B. Smith

I have gone carefully into the matter, but while this industry is maintained as a rationalised industry, I cannot permit a change of retailer. However, I am considering bringing in that change next year

Mrs. Jean Mann

Is my right hon. Friend aware how unfair this compulsion to patronise one particular retailer is to housewives? It means that many of us have been compelled to lose our dividends. We are not allowed to purchase through our usual Co-operative channels, and we have lost quite a large sum of money in dividends. I wonder if the Minister would consider restoring that dividend.

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