HC Deb 19 January 1949 vol 460 cc160-1
49. Mr. Hale

asked the Minister of Food whether he has considered the application sent to him for a special ration of meat for the old people's party to which 8,000 persons of over 70 years of age have been invited, to be held in connection with the Oldham centenary celebrations; and whether he is prepared to grant a special ration.

The Minister of Food (Mr. Strachey)

I am sorry, but we could only make special allowances of meat for parties, even when they are for old people, at the expense of the domestic ration. And I think it would be wrong to do that.

Mr. Hale

Will the Minister bear in mind that special permission was given for the importation of meat for the Lord Mayor's banquet, and that this is a historic ocasion in the history of a town that has made a unique contribution to our industrial effort; further, if the real reason is that the meat is not available here, would he give me a licence to import it from friends in Australia so that these people can have this very special and historic privilege and can participate in it?

Mr. Strachey

I do not think that it is a question of a special import licence. Of course, allowances of rationed foodstuffs are made for these occasions but I am afraid that no allowance of meat is made. After all, this is a tea.

Mr. Hale

In these circumstances would my right hon. Friend give permission for application to be made abroad individually for meat to be sent for this occasion.

Mr. Osborne

Is not the hon. Member pointing out the benefits of individual buying as against bulk purchase?