§ Captain D. HALL
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food if he will definitely define what food hoarding comprises, and when the stock of provisions in a house amounts to a quantity which comes under such heading?
§ Mr. CLYNES
It would not, in my opinion, be advisable to attempt any precise definition of what constitutes hoarding in view of the difference of circumstances affecting town and country life. Each individual case must be judged on its merits. It has, however, been indicated for the guidance of householders in connection with the recent Amnesty Order that a fortnight to three weeks' supply of any of the staple articles of food need not be regarded as excessive, but that stocks for longer periods should only be held by people living in districts remote from any source of supply.
§ Mr. BILLING
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether the names of food hoarders who take advantage of the new week of grace scheme 281W will be published; whether the quantities of food so hoarded will be made known; whether, in arriving at the proportion to be paid to these people for their hoards, such payment will be based on the price paid by them for the food or at the present enhanced market price; whether, in the event of any person destroying food fit for human consumption in order to avoid the penalty of publicity, a sentence of penal servitude will be enforced; and whether he will now state the total weight of food essentials per head any household may retain without contravention of the Regulations as to food hoarding?
§ Mr. CLYNES
The enforcement of the Food Hoarding (Amnesty) Order will be in the hands of local food committees. It is not clear that any advantage would be gained by the publication of the names of persons who surrender their stocks, although the aggregate amount of stocks surrendered may be of public interest. The Order provides that a food committee shall pay the person surrendering articles of food the sum ascertained by them to be equal to one-half the net proceeds of sale. The answer to the last two parts of the question is in the negative.
§ Mr. REA
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food if, in view of the uneasiness caused amongst allotment holders by the fear that the Government intend to take over all supplies of potatoes they may produce, and, in order to ensure the greatest possible production of potatoes and other crops, he will give an official assurance that cultivators of allotments will be allowed to retain such produce as they may raise for their own family consumption without being held to be guilty of hoarding?
§ Mr. CLYNES
The announcement issued by the Food Controller on 1st January expressly states that the potatoes to be taken over will not include potatoes grown by the grower for his own consumption or grown on holdings having less than one acre under potatoes. As has already been announced, the Food Hoarding Order does not apply to home-produced food in the possession of the producer.