HC Deb 05 February 1918 vol 101 cc2086-7
59. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the unsatisfactory inquiry into food supply and food prices by a Departmental Committee of the Board of Trade in 1916, he will appoint a Select Committee to investigate the whole subject, with full power to inquire into the mismanagement of refrigerated shipping, neglect to provide proper cold-storage accommodation, neglect to provide adequate refrigerated railroad cars, neglect to acquire when possible a proper supply of cattle-feeding stuffs, neglect to act on the recommendations of the Departmental Committee of 1916, neglect to act on the advice of Lord Milner's Committee of 1915, neglect to fulfil the Board of Trade undertaking given in 1915 to utilise Western ports for discharge of refrigerated produce, and any steps to remedy the present deplorable situation, and to take evidence in public


I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by adopting the hon. Member's suggestion.


Does the right hon. Gentleman endorse the statement at the beginning of the question?


No. I do not express any opinion upon it.

65. Captain WRIGHT

asked the Prime Minister if he has received a resolution from the Derbyshire War Agricultural Executive Committee deploring a recent utterance of the Food Controller, expressing the opinions that if cheapness to the consumer is to be the sole policy of that Minister without regard to the cost of production the effect on home production must be disastrous, that the dual control of home production of food is detrimental, and urging that the stimulation of production and fixing of prices for produce to the producer should be left to the Board of Agriculture, and that on the basis of the prices so fixed the distribution of all produce and control of wholesalers' and retailers' prices should alone be left to the Food Controller; whether he is aware that this resolution was unanimously passed by the Federation of War Agricultural Committees on Wednesday, 30th January, 1918; that these Committees so passed it after an opportunity of consideration prior to the meeting of the Federation; that they are sparing no effort to carry into effect the Government's scheme for increased production; whether he has taken, or will take, any and what action; and if he will give an early day for discussion of this matter by this House?


The resolution referred to was received by the Prime Minister, who immediately brought it to the attention of the Food Controller. As this question can be raised during the Debate on the Address, I do not think that the House would wish the Government to give special facilities for its discussion.