asked the Minister of Food why, in the case of a recent allocation of Moroccan green peas for splitting, one firm of Scottish millers was favoured by being allowed to sell the manufactured product free of points; and if he is aware that other millers will be
Ministry of Food. These men, by reason of long experience, are experts in the purchasing of the commodities for which they are responsible.
unwilling to take up their allocations in future unless they can be assured of uniform treatment.
The only way to clear this small additional quantity before it deteriorated was to allow sales to caterers free of points. Other millers would be treated in the same way in similar circumstances.
Leaving aside altogether any question of a blunder on the part of the right hon. Lady's Department, will she consider seriously the possibility of freeing this processed product from points, in view of the fact that it has a very high protein content and we have very little meat?
I will answer the second part of the supplementary question first. Yes, we are looking at that. The hon. Member accuses my Department of a blunder. I think he is in a position to know that there was no blunder, and that, in fact, we offered the peas to his firm, and if they had applied for the same concession as the Glasgow millers they would have received it.
Is the right hon. Lady aware that if the peas had been offered to my firm with that particular proviso, we would have taken them?
There was no proviso when we first offered them to the Glasgow millers and they asked us to make a concession. If the hon. Gentleman had desired the same concession we would, of course, have given it.
Is the right hon. Lady aware that, in view of the reduction in the meat ration, it is quite impossible for a single person, unless he has meals outside, to live on the existing ration?