HC Deb 26 January 1948 vol 446 c633
1. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Food whether, when he has small quantities of unrationed foods to dispose of, he will arrange for the wholesalers to ballot for these small lots at reasonable rates so that they can be passed on to the public at controlled prices.

The Minister of Food (Mr. Strachey)

We will bear in mind my hon. Friend's suggestion. The difficulty is that it is almost impossible to set up a system of fixed prices and controlled distribution for small quantities of unrationed foods.

Mrs. Castle

In view of my right hon. Friend's recent experience with nuts—when private enterprise totally failed to distribute them to the public at reasonable prices—will he see that in future these small lots are distributed by some controlled method on the lines suggested?

Mr. Strachey

We certainly try, but I think that my hon. Friend must recognise that with a limited stock of food, such as the stock of nuts which she mentioned, it would not be worth while to set up the whole apparatus of control.