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Conditional Sales

Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that attempts are being made to evade the provisions of the Food (Conditional Sales) Order by some greengrocers selling to customers only a very small quantity of fruit or vegetables which are in short supply and only increasing that quantity in proportion to the amount purchased by the customer of other commodities not in short supply; and, in view of this practice, if he will lay down minimum or maximum quantities of fruit and vegetables in short supply which may be sold to any one purchaser.

Any such form of conditional sales is illegal. I am always ready to take action against anyone who contravenes the Order and if my hon. Friend and others can help me by supplying particulars I will gladly have them investigated.

Is the Minister aware that the kind of thing that is happening is that if a customer wants apples he is offered 4 oz., which amounts to one apple, but that if he buys other goods he is allowed two or three lb. of apples, which are in short supply? Does not the Minister agree that this is imposing a condition of sale and is illegal?

I agree entirely, and I should be very grateful for any help which would lead to successful prosecution in these cases.

Will my right hon. Friend watch particularly the activities of the British Housewives League in this connection?