asked the Minister of Food whether he will grant a licence for the sale of sweets to Mr. V. A. Larkman, Bank Road Post Office and Stores, Bank Road, Devizes, in view of the public demand for it, concerning which he has received correspondence.
My right hon. Friend grants new licences for the present only where the existing shops in an area are not able to meet the needs of the public: There are two shops selling sweets within 300 yards of Mr. Larkman's premises and we should not therefore be justified in giving him a licence.
Might I ask the right hon. Lady, first, whether she listened to the broadcast of the Lord President of the Council the other night, when he stated that the policy of the Socialist Party was to grant freedom to retail traders; and secondly, whether she is aware that, though there are those two shops, it is the evidence of the local inhabitants that those shops are not able to provide a sufficiency of sweets for the people?
I think that if the hon. Gentleman goes round his constituency he will discover that there are 40 sweet shops in the Borough of Devizes.