HC Deb 18 February 1953 vol 511 cc1215-6
9. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that for the eight weeks ended 29th November, 1952, the latest available date before de-rationing, 9 per cent. of the sweets rations were not taken up; and to what extent this fact decided him in favour of de-rationing at the present date; and whether, in view of the non-take up of 2,318,000 rations of meat for the four weeks ended 29th November, 1952, and the non-take up of 4,540,000 rations of bacon for the four weeks ended 29th November, 1952, he will de-ration these food commodities.

Major Lloyd George

The rate of uptake of sweets was only one factor in the decision. The uptake had been consistently low over many months. This is not the case with meat or bacon, to which in any case quite different considerations apply.

Mr. Lewis

Are we to take it then, that the Minister, together with the Chancellor, once he has forced up the prices of these commodities far enough, and once he has got a long continuing non-take-up of these commodities, will then de-ration, as he has done with sweets?

Major Lloyd George

The latter part of my answer is the only part really affecting this aspect. I said that in the case of meat and bacon quite different considerations apply.