HC Deb 01 May 1950 vol 474 cc158-9W
94. Mr. J. Lewis

asked the Minister of Food whether he is yet in a position to revoke the Meals in Establishments Order

Mr. Webb

I am today, advising the catering and tourist industries that the balance of public advantage now lies in the removal of this Order, at any rate for the period of the tourist season. The Order will, therefore, be revoked as from tomorrow, 2nd May. In agreement with the industries concerned, it is proposed to review the position again in the autumn and decide, in the light of our experience, whether we can permanently dispense with this Order.

I hope, as a result of this step, that the tourist and catering industries will now be able to make a bigger contribution to our dollar balance of payments, which is, of course, the most urgent of our economic problems. The catering industry have agreed to keep the situation closely under review themselves and will watch for any evidence of possible abuses in the matter of prices and diversion of supplies. I might also say that I have been assisted in arriving at this decision by evidence that this restriction no longer has any substantial merit as an instrument of equity in the consumption of food supplies.

I also intend to revoke the Meals (Service at Social Functions) Order which limits the number of people who can be served with meals at one function.