HC Deb 14 July 1952 vol 503 cc1793-4
24. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that rationed foods are not being taken up; and if he will give detailed information as to the amounts of rationed foods not taken up at the latest convenient date.

Major Lloyd George

Yes, Sir, but on my information there has been no significant change in the rate of off-take for the last two years. I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate particulars of the take-up of ration foods for a number of past periods in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Lewis

Is the Minister aware that I have a number of old age pensioners in my constituency who have said that since this Government came into power food subsidies have been reduced, prices have risen and that they cannot afford to take all their rations? Is it not scandalous that the rich should have more rations at the expense of the old people?

Major Lloyd George

That really is not so because the survey which is constantly being made of certain commodi-

8 weeks to 14th July, 1951 Average for year 1951 8 weeks to 23rd February, 1952 8 weeks to 19th April, 1952 8 weeks to 14th June, 1952
Meat 100 100 100 100 100
Bacon 98 100 100 100 95
Butter 95 99 99 100 100
Margarine 89 95 97 99 99
Cooking Fat 93 98 95 95 95
Cheese 96 95 96 100 100
Tea 100 100 100 98 98
Sugar 100 100 100 100 100
The above figures include both ration and catering requirements.

ties shows that the higher income groups have taken less bacon, for instance, than the old age pensioners.

Mr. Royle

Is the Minister aware that I have received a letter this morning which contains a statement from a retail meat trader in the constituency of Luton, which is represented by the Minister's Parliamentary Secretary, in which a butcher states that a family of nine could afford only 3s. 8d. for meat, and that as a result he was able to sell an 18s. leg of lamb to a family of six?

Major Lloyd George

I have not seen that letter, but the figures which I am putting in the OFFICIAL REPORT SNOW definitely that at the same period last year there was a smaller take up in most commodities than this year.

Mr. Marlowe

Is it not a fact that this is purely a piece of Socialist propaganda?

Mr. Beswick

Is the Minister basing his statement on the volume or on the value?

Major Lloyd George

They are a percentage of the volume. I have taken the full offtake as 100 per cent. The ration varies from period to period, as the hon. Member knows. Taking in comparable periods they are comparable figures.

Hon. Members

Of what?

Mr. Lewis

In view of the fact that the Minister himself last week said that rations were not being taken up, which is in contradiction to his reply today, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.

Following are the particulars: