HC Deb 13 December 1950 vol 482 cc1154-5
62. Mr. Mulley

asked the Minister of Food what steps he has taken, since the end of the points rationing scheme, to ensure a fair allocation, as between districts, of scarce commodities, such as biscuits, tinned fruit and tinned salmon; and how far supplies of these goods are allocated to districts in proportion to population, so that districts in which the number of shops and licences was reduced by enemy action, as Sheffield, are not at a disadvantage.

Mr. Webb

Methods of distribution to retailers were not altered by the abolition of points rationing. Canned salmon, dried fruit and imported canned fruits are still, for the most part, allocated to retailers in proportion to the number of their registered customers and are, therefore, supplied to each district in proportion to its population. I am quite satisfied that manufacturers and distributors are fairly distributing biscuits and other foods which were previously on points.

Mr. Mulley

While appreciating that my right hon. Friend has no direct control over the distribution of foods in the hands of the private trade, will he make representations to them that, where necessary, they should revise their allocations in the light of the current pattern of demand and the current population, and not according to the number of shops?

Mr. Webb

If I receive information about a particular area, I shall be very pleased to look into the matter.

Mr. Peter Roberts

Is not the Minister aware that in Sheffield there has not been a fair allocation of these goods?

Mr. Webb

If I get any information about Sheffield, I will have the matter looked into.

Year ended 31st March, 1945 Year ended 31st March, 1947 Year ended 31st March, 1950
£ No. £ No. £ No.
Cattle 56,384,826 1,904,866 64,649,703 1,973,562 82,687,160 1,850,181
Calves 2,846,385 1,403,463 2,863,070 1,479,828 2,165,264 1,226,101
Sheep 22,433,646 6,756,514 25,823,704 6,974,471 35,776,197 6,586,376
Pigs 14,953,821 1,418,528 14,838,746 1,365,969 50,382,897 2,636,665