§ 44. Mr. FELL
asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the recent rise in the price of bread in London; if he is taking any steps to assist the delivery of grain from the ships which are lying in the Port of London unable to secure lighters; and if he can provide any substitute for these lighters or other means of preventing a further rise in the price of bread and the consequent hardship which must follow from it?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to reply to this question. I am aware of the recent rise in the price of bread. The question of the delivery of grain is engaging my serious attention. I have arranged to meet to-morrow representatives of the London millers, and will consult with them upon the subject.
§ Mr. FELL
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, as the matter is of very great importance, he will grant protection to such of the lightermen as may be willing to work so that this congestion of grain may be relieved and it may be delivered to the mills along the Thames?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I understand none of the lightermen on strike are willing to work.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
Arising out of that answer, do I understand the rise in the price of bread is due to the strike, and, if so, is that consistent with what the right hon. Gentleman told the House yesterday that the price of food has not risen?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I stated yesterday that the price of food had not risen, with the exception of bread, which in the last two or three days had risen.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is aware that even when there is no strike about four master millers decide what is to be the selling price of flour?