HC Deb 24 July 1946 vol 426 c34
60. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Food whether his attention has been drawn to the inconvenience caused to housewives and other shoppers by the late arrival of fresh food, which causes uncertainty, queueing and repeated visits to shops; and what prospect there is of a return to prewar hours of arrival.

Dr. Summerskill

Shortage of supplies, manpower, and of road and rail transport, all contribute to the difficulty to which the hon. Member refers. My right hon. Friend is satisfied that everyone is doing his best to improve matters, and that a substantial improvement has already been achieved, but he cannot say when a return to prewar standards of service will be possible.

Mr. Keeling

Is the hon. Lady quite sure that the later arrival under Government control is not duo in part either to the mechanism of Government control itself or to the later hour at which workers in the wholesale markets arrive at work under Government control?

Dr. Summerskill

We have just emerged from six years of war, during which time we were not making lorries and wagons.

Mr. Walkden

Is not the produce in fruit and vegetable markets, except for imported produce, subject to the whims, fancies and antiquities of free enterprise and, that being so, how can the Ministry of Food make any alteration so long as the ideas of the other side of the House are applied?