asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he can now make a statement on the progress of the distribution of ration books, indicating the numbers still to be distributed, the numbers of people who have not taken up new books in alphabetical sequence of names, and the final proposals for distributing such books and cards as have not been collected by the termination of the prescribed period?
The progress of the distribution of ration books is generally satisfactory and I have no reason to believe that the task will not be concluded successfully. By Saturday, 26th June, 71 per cent, of all ration books had been issued to the public; by Saturday, 3rd July, it is estimated that about 15 per cent, remained to be distributed in the whole of the United Kingdom. I regret that I cannot state the number of persons who failed to take up their ration books during the first run through the alphabet, which was expected to come to an end in most areas on 3rd July. An announcement will be made shortly with reference to the procedure for distributing books not then taken up.