asked the Minister of Food the average number of shell eggs now available weekly to each person; and if he is satisfied that all parts of the country are getting a fair allocation.
Shell egg allocations in April averaged 2.8 a week. The answer to the second part of the Question is "Yes, Sir, as far as is practicable in the distribution of this food."
Is the Minister aware that a statement by his Parliamentary Secretary led people to believe that more eggs would be available to make up for the cut in the meat ration, but that there are complaints from many parts of the country that people are not even getting their ordinary ration of eggs? Is he aware that there are complaints from every part of the country regarding the unequal distribution of surplus eggs? What is he going to do about it?
No, Sir. Very appreciably more eggs have been available this year than last, and in some parts of the country there have been surplus eggs above the allocation.
People throw them at Communists.
What is happening to all these surplus eggs? Is there some priority given to the shops, or is priority given to restaurants and cafés, because my constituents have been writing to me to say they can always get eggs in restaurants and cafés but cannot get any surplus eggs in the shops? Will the right hon. Gentleman see that there is a fairer distribution to the housewives?
There is an allocation of surplus eggs to catering establishments because they are not receiving dried egg at the moment. That is all.
Will the right hon. Gentleman look at the matter again? Will he look at the Press to see how these complaints are circulating daily, and will he take some action?
asked the Minister of Food why, by Statutory Instrument, No. 612, 1949, he has provided that the registration number of the purchaser of eggs for hatching purposes shall be stated on the declaration required to be made by him.
This requirement, which has been in force since 1944, is a check on the identity of persons buying eggs for hatching.
Can the right hon. Gentleman point to one case in which the registration number has actually operated to identify a single purchaser?
I should have thought that it would materially have helped to identify him.
In which case? This is purely theoretical.