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Fish Friers (Supplies)

Volume 446: debated on Wednesday 28 January 1948

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59.

asked the Minister of Food on what basis the supplies to the fried fish and chip trade are allocated to various towns and districts; what allowance has been made for the shift in population since 1939; and whether districts with a low pre-war purchasing power receive corresponding compensation.

Fish friers are free to buy such supplies of fish as are available in the open market. Fats are supplied on the basis of prewar trade, and allowances are regularly adjusted to correspond with population movement. Supplementary allowances of fat are granted to fish friers in development and mining areas to compensate for prewar lack of purchasing power. Potatoes are allocated at the rate of 6 cwt. of potatoes to 1 cwt. of fat.

In certain circumstances, as the hon. Member knows, applications from disabled ex-Service men are considered first if there is a consumer need, but if no other applications have been made new entrants are considered.

Is my hon. Friend aware that although the system in general may be satisfactory, it does, in fact, impose considerable hardship on individual fish friers in whose district there has been extensive building since the datum period?

I have already told my hon. Friend that extra food is given in those cases where the population has increased.

Is not the proportion of ex-Service men, disabled and otherwise, very small?

What is the minimum increase in the size of population of which the Department of the hon. Lady takes cognisance in allocating these and other food supplies?

Will the hon. Lady give consideration to applications from fish friers in rural districts as there appears to be a lack of fish friers in large villages in my area?

We give due consideration to applications, but we cannot promise to give the applicant permission to go to the area where he wishes.