HC Deb 05 February 1947 vol 432 cc348-9W
63. Miss J. Lee

asked the Minister of Food if it is the policy of his Department to discourage the sending of private food parcels to Britain from the U.S.A., Canada and Australia; what percentage of such parcels in the past year has reached their destination; what percentage has been stolen in transit after arrival in Britain; and what percentage has been confiscated by Government order.

Dr. Summerskill

We are grateful for any gifts from overseas, and, as my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, the Regulations were amended in October last to permit heavier parcels. As regards the second and third parts of the Question, I am informed by my right hon. Friend, the Postmaster-General, that no individual record is kept of uninsured parcels. There is no evidence that of the large number of gifts sent by post from the U.S.A., Canada and Australia, any significant number is stolen. I am informed that whilst no separate figures are available of the parcels confiscated by the Customs Department, the percentage is negligible.

66. Mrs. Mann

asked the Minister of Food when the consignment of foodstuffs addressed to the deserving cases of a school in Coatbridge and dispatched last November by a former pupil now in New Zealand is likely to be delivered.

Dr. Summerskill

I presume my hon. Friend refers to a gift sent by the Southland Centre of the New Zealand Red Cross Society. With the approval of the Dominions representatives in this country, all gifts sent in bulk are distributed through local authorities. Accordingly, we suggested to the Society that this gift should he sent to the Coatbridge Authority for distribution to deserving cases, in consultation with the school to which it was addressed. The Society's agreement has been received this week, and arrangements for the despatch of the food will be made forthwith.