HC Deb 25 November 1946 vol 430 cc1245-6
22. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the fact that supplies of tinned fruit for Christmas will be limited, he will make arrangements for ration books to be marked in the same way as for oranges when a tin of fruit is purchased, so as to prevent some families getting more than their fair share.

Mr. Strachey

On the whole I think that the points scheme is a much more suitable method of distributing canned fruit and other similar foodstuffs in short supply.

Mrs. Castle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that when there are goods, which are attractive and scarce, such as tinned fruit, the principle of twice come twice served may be applied very inequitably, and, therefore, it is very much desired by housewives that there should be some better method whereby there would be a more even distribution?

Mr. Strachey

I understand my hon. Friend's point, but I am afraid there is really nothing between a complete rationing scheme, which I do not think we could entertain in this case, and a points scheme, which does give a certain flexibility.

27. Mr. Touche

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that there is considerable anxiety among grocers regarding the fulfilment of the announcement that from 24th November tinned fruit will be reaching the shops in sufficient quantities to provide nearly two pounds per head of the population; and whether he will make a statement on the subject.

Mr. Strachey

The supply of tinned fruit which is being distributed works out as I said at a little less than 2 lbs. per head of the population and will be distributed through the normal channels which include other retail outlets as well as grocers.

Mr. Touche

Is the Minister aware that grocers say that they are not receiving adequate supplies to implement that statement?

Mr. Strachey

They are right if they say they axe not getting as much as they desire or as much as we should like to give them, but not all the tinned fruit passes through the grocers' hands, and the fact remains that the country as a whole is getting the quantity stated.

Back to