HC Deb 11 October 1916 vol 86 cc91-2W

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the current high prices of foodstuffs and the impossibility of the Government control of such prices when so small a proportion of the nation's food is produced in the United Kingdom, he will consider the desirability during the coming winter of rationing the whole population, thus rendering available for the very poor all superfluous food the consumption of which is not in all cases as at present utilised essential to physical efficiency and vigour, and at the same time promoting by similarity of treatment and experience greater mutual sympathy and confidence as between different sections of society and a resulting increase of national solidarity?


We are not, I think, in sight of any such general shortage of supplies as would render necessary the measures suggested by the hon. Gentleman. I hope and believe that the voluntary avoidance of superfluous consumption, which has now become the urgent duty of all patriotic citizens, will make it possible to escape the grave difficulties and disadvantages, and the immense administrative labour and expenditure involved, in any system of official rationing of food supplies.

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