§ 73. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the hon. Member for Wilton, as representing the Food Controller, if he is aware that the London master bakers have decided to increase the selling price of bread by another halfpenny per loaf which will then make it 11d. per 4 lbs. in many parts of London; if he is aware that at a conference held on Thursday, 7th December, at the Wesleyan Hall, Westminster, a unanimous resolution was passed asking the Government to supply flour to the various municipalities with a view to supplying the bakers with flour at a cost which would enable them to sell bread at not more than 6d. per loaf; if he can state how much per week it would cost the country if such a proposition is carried out in accordance with the amount of bread and flour per head per week suggested by the Food Controller; and if he intends taking any action in the matter?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The resolution referred to in the second part has not been brought specifically to the attention of the Food Controller. The estimated cost of the proposal in the first instance would be about £800,000 or £900,000 a week, but in any case the Food Controller cannot regard it as practicable.
§ Mr. THORNE
Is it not a fact that shipowners have been subsidised in days gone by? If it was necessary to subsidise shipowners in days gone by, why, in the name of common sense, cannot we do something in the way suggested in the question?
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many members of the Government thought these steps were practicable while the last Government was in power, and can he say why these steps have become impracticable because they have become members of the Government?
§ Mr. CLYNES
Are the investigations to which the hon. Gentleman refers being made with a view to fixing maximum prices in respect of commodities named in this question?