HC Deb 01 November 1948 vol 457 c509

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. WALTER FLETCHER:

62. To ask the Minister of Food whether, in view of the fact that there seems no prospect of any alleviation in the present position of queueing for foodstuffs, he will reconsider his decision given in a Parliamentary answer on 10th March, 1948, to give queue priority to expectant mothers.

Mr. Fletcher

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. The penultimate word of this Question should be "nursing" and not "expectant."

Mr. Strachey

I am afraid my answer relates to the Question as printed. Expectant mothers already enjoy priority in queues.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the right hon. Gentleman extend the same privilege to nursing mothers for some period after the birth of a child, when this consideration is equally important and could be as easily arranged?

Mr. Strachey

The question at issue is whether this can be easily and effectively arranged. The hon. Member must remember that, in any case, these queue priorities have no statutory force. It is very difficult to extend them and to ask shopkeepers to take notice of further categories.

Mrs. Leah Manning

If the hon. Member for Bury (Mr. W. Fletcher) and I were to collaborate in offering the Minister a form which would make it easy for shopkeepers to come to a decision about this question, would the right hon. Gentleman look at it?

Mr. Strachey

I will certainly consider any measures which seem practicable.

Mr. Erroll

Would it not be better for the Minister to take more active steps to eleminate queues?

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