HC Deb 07 April 1952 vol 498 cc2259-60
6. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Food what was the last date on which the domestic cheese ration was 1 oz. per person per week.

Major Lloyd George

Twenty-ninth of June, 1941.

Mr. Lewis

Are we to understand from that reply that, after six months of Tory rule, we are now in as bad a position as in the war period of 1941 so far as cheese ration is concerned?

Mr. E. Shinwell

Does the answer of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman mean that we have had to wait until the advent of a Tory Government in order to receive 1 oz. of cheese?

Major Lloyd George

The right hon. Gentleman is wrong. We have had to wait until the last year of a Socialist Government to force us to do it.

22. Mr. F. Willey

asked the Minister of Food what is the average weekly ration of cheese estimated for the purposes of the Ministry of Food Estimates, 1952–53.

Major Lloyd George

The Estimates for 1952–53 assume the distribution of such quantities of ration cheese as we expect to be able to buy in that year. The hon. Member will not expect me to forecast future ration levels.

Mr. Willey

Can the right hon. Gentleman answer the Question? Presumably, for the purpose of giving the figures in the Estimates, he had an average ration that he worked upon, otherwise he could not have given the figures.

Major Lloyd George

I cannot anticipate the ration. If the hon. Gentleman wants the answer in another way, I might point out that I can only distribute what I have got.

Mrs. Barbara Castle

Are we to understand that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman is perfectly able to estimate the cost and is not able to estimate the quantity?

Major Lloyd George

That should not be assumed at all. I simply stated that the distribution of the cheese next year will be that which we are capable of buying that year.

Mr. Victor Yates

As very grave anxiety has been caused as a result of this reduction in the cheese ration, will the Minister reconsider the question of the provision of a substitute, or more imported cheese, because this is a matter of grave concern to the housewife?

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