HC Deb 20 November 1946 vol 430 cc850-1
48. Captain John Crowder

asked the Minister of Food what his policy is regarding the exchange of bread rationing coupons for points; and when he anticipates that he will be able to increase supplies of the various foodstuffs which are obtainable on points.

The Minister of Food (Mr. Strachey)

I propose to allow the exchange of B.U.S for points so long as it continues to meet the need for which it was introduced. Of course, we shall issue more points foods as soon as they are available. There have been some recent increases, for example, canned milk, and next week, canned fruit, and some decreases, for example, biscuits.

Captain Crowder

Is the Minister aware that there are many people who need all their bread units for bread and who think it most unfair that others, especially large families who do not want so much bread, should have a large number of extra points to use; and, secondly, is he aware that, especially in North London, shops are unable at this moment to produce goods when the points are tendered?

Mr. Strachey

We changed the exchange rate between bread units and points because we thought there was an excessive inducement, but it has been a very great inducement to people to save bread, and it has been very successful in that way. With the present ratio, I do not think it is acting unfairly.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his original answer hardly tallies with the assurance which he gave to the House and the country last July that he had taken steps to see that adequate supplies of points goods would be available in exchange?

Mr. Strachey

Points goods have never run out. What the right hon. Gentleman must have in mind is that particular points goods may not be available at a given time and place. That is always so under points rationing.

Mr. Hudson

Is the Minister aware that no such qualification was made by him when he gave the original assurance?