HC Deb 12 November 1947 vol 444 cc386-7
60. Mrs. Middleton

asked the Minister of Food why the unanimous recommendation of the Plymouth food committee, that the catering licence held by Anthony Johnson (Photiades), "Imperial Restaurant" should be revoked, was over-ruled by the regional food officer in spite of the numerous convictions for food offences that have been made against this firm.

Dr. Summerskill

On full consideration of all the facts in the case, my right hon. Friend decided to temper justice with mercy and to give this caterer one further chance.

Mrs. Middleton

Is the Minister aware that these continued prosecutions only lead to publicity and advertisement for this firm, inducing people with means to indulge themselves there and to break the rationing laws? Is she further aware that this is causing great exasperation among the housewives of Plymouth? What is the use of having local food committees if their advice is not accepted?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Lady will agree that we must give these cases very serious consideration, because, where there is a question of revocation of a licence, it might mean depriving a man of his livelihood.

Hon. Members

Why not?

Dr. Summerskill

In this case we are giving the man the benefit of the doubt, because, if the hon. Lady will look into the case, she will find that this man only asked a neighbouring butcher to change supplies, and no money changed hands.

Mrs. Middleton

Is the Minister aware that this is not the first time this firm has been prosecuted—I think it is the sixth time?

Mr. Rankin

Will the Parliamentary Secretary consider the advisability, where licences are revoked in the case of hotels, of turning them into British Restaurants?

Mr. Speaker

That is a general question. This Question applies only to Plymouth.