HC Deb 10 May 1950 vol 475 cc380-1
57. Mr. Low

asked the Minister of Food why he has refused during the ration period 23rd April to 13th August to issue to residential catering establishments permits enabling them to buy bacon during that period up to the total consumed in their establishments in the same period in 1949 but in such weekly amounts as are required to meet holiday demands.

Mr. F. Willey

My right hon. Friend is looking into the possibility of giving catering establishments greater freedom to vary their purchases with fluctuations of the holiday season, bearing in mind that bacon has to be supplied to wholesalers and retailers on a regular weekly basis.

Mr. Low

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is a very old problem and was brought to his Department's notice much more than a month ago? Is it not about time that his right hon. Friend looked at it?

Mr. Willey

This may be an old problem, but it is also a difficult one, for we are dealing with perishable commodities and we have to take into account the position of the retailer.

Mr. Keeling

Will the Parliamentary Secretary say whether in future the Labour Party will hold its annual conference outside those months so that its members may enjoy——

Mr. Speaker

That is another question.

Mr. Vane

Will the hon. Gentleman allow residential catering establishments which are sufficiently enterprising to keep pigs with their own swill, to retain a larger proportion of the bacon for their visitors instead of handing the whole lot over as at present?

Mr. Low

In view of the fact that the holiday season is coming very soon, will the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to make his decision very quickly?