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Parcels From Abroad (Investigations)

Volume 388: debated on Wednesday 7 April 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he has considered the statement sent him showing that, within the fortnight ended 25th March, a single well-off family of three persons in Salford received 14 parcels from Cape Town, each weighing about four lb., and containing fats, tea, sugar and other foods; that the local food office declined to interfere, and ordered the postal authorities to continue delivering me parcels, although some months earlier, when the same household was receiving about 12 similar parcels weekly from Cape Town, Bombay and Mauritius, the food authorities had instructed him to tell the senders not to send any more; and will he take steps to prevent such abuses of the privilege of receiving gifts from abroad?

From preliminary inquiries which have been made there appears to have been an abuse of the regulations in this case. I am having further investigations made and will communicate the result to the hon. Lady.

Does not this one case, brought to light by the public spirit of a single person, who was in a position to know the whole of the facts, suggest that there may be hundreds or even thousands of other cases where this privilege of getting an unlimited number of food parcels from abroad is being seriously abused, and could not the regulations be tightened up?

I am sure the hon. Lady will appreciate the danger of arguing from the particular to the general.