HC Deb 31 January 1949 vol 460 cc1367-8
35. Mr. Oliver

asked the Minister of Food whether he has now devised a scheme for a recasting of the basis of allocation to traders of supplies now regulated by the datum year 1938 in view of the hardship inflicted on new entrants to the food trades by the present system which confers a quasi-monopoly on those traders already established.

Dr. Summerskill

No one method can replace the datum system of allocation, but over a wide range of activities it has already come to an end. My Department is examining a number of schemes with trades still subject to this procedure.

Mr. Oliver

Will my right hon. Friend consider the point that, with regard to the 1938 allocation, many of the men not in the trade who desire to go into the food trade were still at school in 1938, and if trade supplies are to be regulated by that Order, the position becomes almost absurd.

Dr. Summerskill

I think that my right hon. Friend and I have often explained to the House that we are not satisfied with this method of allocation, but my hon. Friend must realise that while certain foods are in short supply there is no alternative.

Mr. H. D. Hughes

Is it not the case that the trade is opposed to a system whereby unrationed food can be supplied to traders according to their registrations for registered food; and would not such a system overcome a good deal of the inequality which now exists?

Dr. Summerskill

I expect my hon. Friend remembers that only two or three months ago we did tie many of the pointed foods which housewives need, to registrations.

Forward to