HC Deb 10 May 1948 vol 450 c1721
28. Mr. Skinnard

asked the Minister of Food whether in view of hardships caused to mothers in the lower income groups owing to the considerable variation in price, ranging from 2s. 6d. to 6s. a tin, of the brands of baby food now on the market, he will arrange for proportionately larger supplies of the lower priced foods to be available to chemists' shops in working-class areas.

The Minister of Food (Mr. Strachey)

My Department does not control the distribution of proprietary infant milk foods, but the steps we have taken recently should ensure that reasonable supplies of the various brands are available in all districts. I shall be pleased to investigate any case of shortage of the cheaper brands in working-class areas if my hon. Friend will provide me with details.

Mr. Skinnard

Is it not a fact that the various types of baby foods to which I have referred in the Question are short because these quotas were rigidly adhered to, but that there are mounting stocks of unsaleable baby foods in chemist shops, while working class mothers are doing treks to try to get cheaper brands?

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir. There is no allocation system, so far as the Ministry are concerned, for these brands. They are entirely in private hands. I would point out, of course, that National Dried Milk, at 10½. a packet, is readily available in all these areas.