HC Deb 20 November 1946 vol 430 cc851-2
50. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that many milkmen refuse to leave milk against emergency ration cards; and if he will take steps to remedy the hardship caused to those who have to use these cards.

Mr. Strachey

Milk retailers get a special allowance of milk out of which they should be able to supply holders of temporary ration cards. If some retailers have difficulty in serving all such customers with milk, the local food office will help.

Mrs. Castle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the experience of people going on visits or lodging temporarily is that they simply cannot get milk on the emergency card, and can he not issue some instruction to milkmen that these cards must be honoured on their milk items as on others?

Mr. Strachey

Yes, we will endeavour to do that.

Captain Crookshank

Will the Minister say how the food office can help? It doe? not keep milk.

Mr. Strachey

If the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will consider the matter for a moment, he will realise that it can help in exactly the way my hon. Friend suggests, by putting pressure on the retailer to honour the emergency card.

52. Sir John Mellor

asked the Minister of Food why the 94,000,000 gallons of milk produced in September, 1946, only provided a ration of two pints weekly, whereas the 90,000,000 gallons produced in September, 1945, provided a ration of 2½pints; what was the production for October, 1945 and 1946, respectively; and why the ration was reduced 10 weeks earlier in 1946 than in 1945.

Mr. Strachey

Civilian requirements of milk during September, 1946, were higher than during September, 1945, mainly because of demobilisation and the higher birth rate. Difficulty had been experienced in September, 1945, in maintaining a 2½pint allowance and in order to avoid even worse difficulties this year owing to the increased demand the allowance was reduced to two pints earlier this year than last year. The estimated total sales of milk in October, 1945 and 1946, were 94 and 99 million gallons respectively.

Sir W. Smithers

Is it not a fact that the whole policy of the Minister in this series of questions is designed to weaken the public's resistance to the tryanny of Socialism?