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Shopping (Aged People)

Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 30 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that old and infirm people who are unable to do their own shopping have difficulty in obtaining extras which are unrationed; and if he will issue instructions to retailers to give priority to people who are shopping for them, provided they produce the necessary ration book with the extra tea coupon to show that they are shopping for the old age pensioners.

The question of priority for special types of shopper has been raised on many occasions, and been most carefully examined by my officials. I have, of course, no power to issue instructions to retailers about this matter; even the existing request for priority for expectant mothers causes them a good deal of difficulty, and I do not think that any extension of this arrangement would be practicable. Any shopper who is obviously in a poor physical condition is, I think, likely to receive consideration at the hands of other shoppers and of the retailers, and although I have every sympathy with the motive for the suggestion, I think that the matter should be left to the good sense of the public.