HC Deb 19 January 1949 vol 460 cc162-3
55. Mr. John Hynd

asked the Minister of Food whether he is yet in a position to state his decision concerning the inclusion of de-rationed foodstuffs in parcels to Europe.

58. Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth

asked the Minister of Food whether he will now make a statement about sending parcels containing foodstuffs, which have been taken off the ration to friends in Europe.

60. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Food why parcels of unrationed food can be sent abroad by commercial or air freight but not by post.

Mr. Strachey

The present regulations permit rationed foods only to be sent out of this country in gift parcels, except very occasionally under Board of Trade licence. I appreciate that many people may want to send small quantities of unrationed foods to their friends overseas, and that it is particularly hard not to be able to send foods which have recently come off the ration. Yet we cannot afford to send out freely unrationed foods which are cheap and easily obtainable here for fear of their re-sale at a high profit in, for example, certain European countries.

I propose, therefore from 1st February next, to allow up to 2 lb. of unrationed food to be included in any gift parcel which also contains at least 4 lb. of rationed food or soap. In future, as at present, these parcels must not weigh more than 7 lb. altogether nor contain more than 2 lb. of any one food. Similar arrangements will be made for organisations which collect food gifts to send abroad for relief purposes.

Mr. Keeling

Can the Minister answer Question No. 60? Can he explain why the Board of Trade issued a licence for a small parcel of unrationed food to be sent by air or sea, but not by post?

Mr. Strachey

It is within the discretion of that Department, in consultation with my own, to allow the export of food parcels.

Mr. Keeling

Why not by post, then?

Mr. Hynd

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his reply will give great satisfaction to many generous-hearted people throughout the country?