HC Deb 06 March 1946 vol 420 cc335-6
61. Major John Morrison

asked the Minister of Food what are the restrictions, at present in force, on the sending of parcels of food to friends and relatives in this country by residents in Dominions, Colonies and other countries abroad; and whether, in view of the present food situation, he proposes to modify or abolish such restrictions.

Dr. Summerskill

With regard to the first part of the Question, individuals in this country may receive gifts of food from abroad provided that the gifts are not solicited, are not received more frequently than once a month, and provided that the weight of foodstuffs in any one parcel does not exceed 7 lb., of which not more than 2 lb. may consist of one commodity. With regard to the second part of the Question, my right hon. Friend does not consider that any modification of these restrictions would be in the national interest at the present time.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

In regard to the last statement in the hon. Lady's answer, will she say whether that applies equally to Australia where they are now endeavouring, with very little success, to send greater quantities of food to this country?

Dr. Summerskill

Our policy has always been to give equal shares to all, and we feel that if we modified our policy now it would mean that many very poor people in this country would never receive a parcel.

Mr. Douglas Marshall

The greatest misery for the greatest numbers.