HC Deb 03 November 1948 vol 457 cc858-9
54. Mr. Gerald Williams

asked the Minister of Food what are the prospective supplies of oils and fats available for fish frying establishments in this country during the next 12 months; to what extent these supplies will enable existing establishments to be worked at full or economic capacity; and whether he can give an assurance that any issue of licences to new fish frying establishments will only take place if adequate supplies of fats and oils are available for all.

Dr. Summerskill

I hope that supplies will remain at least at their present level. It is not possible to say more than that at present. As regards the issue of new licences, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend to the House on Monday, 1st November.

Mr. Williams

Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise that it would be much better to increase supplies to old-established firms, and that that would be a more economic proposition than to give it to new people?

Dr. Summerskill

I cannot agree with the hon. Member. We did, as the House knows, agree to issue about 2,000 more licences and I think the fairest method of procedure was the one we adopted. We have issued most of the licences to those areas which have not hitherto been supplied with a fried fish shop.