§ Mr. Wilmot
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what steps have been taken to ensure that retail food traders called up for National Service will be able to obtain permission to resume, upon their returning to civil life, the trade in which they were previously engaged; and whether any consultations with the appropriate organisations have been instituted?
§ Mr. Mabane
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Southend-on-Sea (Mr. Channon) on 21st April last. Food executive officers have been instructed to record the circumstances in which a retail food business is closed, whenever a licence is surrendered by a retailer on closing his business. As the conditions in which food distribution may be carried on after the cessation of hostilities cannot be foreseen, it is impossible to give any guarantee such as my hon. Friend suggests in the first part of his Question. No consultations have taken place with trade associations, nor does my Noble Friend see any reason for such consultations at the present time.