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Food Parcels

Volume 464: debated on Monday 9 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Food if, when British subjects send food parcels abroad in accordance with the regulations, he will arrange with the Postmaster-General to increase the weight sufficiently to allow for the containers, particulars of which have been sent him.

The 7 lb. limit is based on the international postal scale for parcels. The next higher weight would be 11 lb., and we do not allow parcels weighing more than 7 lb. to be sent, since they might be profitably re-sold and a considerable illicit export trade in food develop.


asked the Minister of Food whether his attention has been drawn to circulars sent to people in this country by an organisation described as Home Parcel Service of 5c Connaught Place, New Delhi, and from other similar organisations inviting persons to order parcels of food to be sent to them in this country; and how far his regulations permit persons in this country to act on the invitation contained in these circulars.

Yes, Sir. We have no jurisdiction over traders abroad who send these circulars, but anyone in the United Kingdom buying rationed foods offered in this way is committing an offence against the Food Rationing (General Provisions) Order. I understand that it is also an offence against the Import of Goods (Control) Order to import any goods without a Board of Trade licence.

In view of the fact that circulars of this kind do come in considerable quantities, and of the fact that many of the recipients are quite unaware of the legal position, will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to make that legal position known, so that however silly the law may be, it can be enforced?

Yes, Sir, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and I are issuing a joint statement on the matter.