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Dealing with the question of grocery businesses available for returned servicemen, Mr. A. McDougall, general manager of the Self-Help Co-operative, Ltd., said to-day, when replying to Mr. R. M. Barker's defence of the New Zealand Master Grocers' Federation's grocery reconstruction plan, that no less than 28 grocery and mixed businesses were advertised for sale in Wednesday's Star.

Jt was the Government's policy, said Mr. McDougall, to deal with organisations rather than individuals. On November 6, 1944, the Wellington Chain Grocery Store Association, of which his organisation was a member, wrote to the Minister of Rehabilitation about plans for the rehabilitation of returned servicemen. The Minister replied on November ,22 that the matter would be considered at an opportune time. The Wellington Chain Grocers' Association did not receive an invitation to appear before the committee, nor was it notified of any proposed plan.

The Self Help Co-op., could well afford to eliminate its benefits for employees, returned servicemen and charities. The organisation could not get supplies of many manufactured articles unless it made a greater profit on the resale than it desired to make under its policy of charging the lowest possible prices. Always it left the public to be the judge whether those profits were being distributed in a satisfactory manner to the staff, ex-servicemen and charities.

Regarding Mr. Barker's suggestion that the organisation should shelter behind a strictly legal interpretation to reinstate only a number of its returned personnel, the company's policy, he said, was the same as that of any other fairminded company. It was to reinstate all its returned servicemen, irrespective of when they joined the Forces. As well as rehabilitating its ex-servicemen, the organisation had also given every employee who went overseas a share in its £10,000 fighting services trust, and had sent a parcel every month to each overseas employee. In addition, an educational bursary of £100 had been provided for all employees with more than two children, and a similar bursary had been provided for every child of a company employee who gave his life overseas or was permanently disabled.

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Bibliographic details

GROCERY TRADE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 170, 20 July 1945

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GROCERY TRADE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 170, 20 July 1945

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