HC Deb 08 March 1954 vol 524 cc1727-8
29. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Food what action he proposes to take to ensure that, when butter and cheese are derationed and decontrolled, old-age pensioners and the lower incomed groups will be guaranteed at least the present basic ration, as a minimum, at prices which they will be able to afford to pay.

Major Lloyd George

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Boardman) on 1st February.

Mr. Lewis

That does not give me the guarantee for which I ask. Will the Minister give a guarantee that old-age pensioners will be able to afford at least the basic rations of these two commodities? Our experience has been that where commodities have been derationed and decontrolled the poorer sections of the population—and particularly the old-age pensioners—cannot afford to take their basic ration. Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give a guarantee in this instance?

Major Lloyd George

No, Sir. But in any case I could not possibly accept what the hon. Gentleman has said about old-age pensioners, because it is not in accordance with the facts.