HC Deb 26 April 1948 vol 450 cc28-9
72. Mr. Baker White

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that the decision to link the trade in points goods to consumer registrations will have an adverse effect on greengrocers now dealing in points goods; and whether, to avoid financial hardship to a large number of small traders, he will allow greengrocers to continue selling points goods.

84. Mr. Hugh Fraser

asked the Minister of Food whether his recent decision that certain points canned food distribution to the trade will be linked with the number of registrations for rationed goods held by shopkeepers will in any way affect the legitimate trade of the fruiterer and greengrocer; and if he will reconsider this arrangement as inequitable to fruiterers and greengrocers who have always handled such lines as canned fruit and vegetables.

Dr. Summerskill

I would refer the hon. Members to the reply given on 12th April to the hon. Member for North Croydon (Mr. F. Harris).

Mr. Baker White

Is the hon. Lady aware that this decision has caused wide suspicion among small retailers that it has been brought in purely to benefit the Co-operative stores and multiple shops, and that this is borne out by an advertisement issued by the Sheerness Co-operative Society which says that recent changes in the methods of supplying points goods as announced by the Minister of Food will mean larger supplies at the "Co-op."?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Gentleman must realise that thousands of small shops have registrations. The only people who may suffer are those small shops or multiple shops without registrations, but they will have a share in the allocated foods.

Mr. J. S. C. Reid

Can the hon. Lady say by what proportion the allocation to shops which do not have registered customers is likely to be reduced?

Dr. Summerskill

No, Sir, it is impossible to give that figure at this stage.