HC Deb 27 April 1949 vol 464 cc178-9
27. Mr. Baker White

asked the Minister of Food whether he will grant an increase of the fats and sugar ration to farm workers in the period 1st May to 30th September to offset in some part the effects of the cut in the meat ration in the period when they will be doing heavy work over long hours.

Dr. Summerskill

No, Sir. I think that the reduction must be borne by all sections of the community.

Mr. Baker White

Does the right hon. Lady appreciate that the cut in the meat ration will fall most heavily on the very people who have to produce the meat?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Member must also realise that if we gave extra fats and sugar to agricultural workers the same concession would be demanded by workers in the heavy industries.

Mr. Drayson

Would the right hon. Lady consider adopting towards agricultural workers the same system which applies to coal miners—that they should be permitted to retain a certain proportion of the food they produce?

Brigadier Medlicott

Is the right hon. Lady aware that there is growing feeling on this matter, and that the farm-workers themselves feel that as they produce so high a proportion of the nation's food, they should have some further preference to enable them to do their work to their own and the nation's satisfaction?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. and gallant Member must remember that farm workers get extra allowances during certain seasonal operations which other workers do not get.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

If the additional fats and sugar to farm workers would give rise to a similar demand from the miners, would not the right hon. Lady give to the farm workers a meat ration similar to that which the miners get?

Dr. Summerskill

Is the hon. Member prepared to ask the agricultural workers to sacrifice their 12 oz. of cheese?