HC Deb 14 April 1920 vol 127 cc1671-2
55. Mr. CAIRNS

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that the Newcastle-on-Tyne Co-operative Society has about 40,000 members; is he aware that they have been short of flour by 340 sacks, and that the largest ships go up into the higher reaches of the Tyne; and, if so, will he see that the people of this area get a fair supply of flour?


The Food Controller is not aware of any shortage of flour in Newcastle-on-Tyne. It is recognised, however, that anticipation of the recent advance in the retail price of flour led to an abnormal demand by customers in this part of the country who are to a large extent home-bakers. On inquiry the Food Controller is satisfied that all mills in the Northern and North-Eastern Areas, some of which are not at present working full time, have adequate supplies of wheat, and that any further demands for flour can be met.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Shotton mill has been closed down for several hours a day owing to the lack of a full supply, and can he see his way to keep this mill going on three shifts in order to meet the requirements of the country?


Is the hon. Member aware that other flour mills are suffering in the same way and that shareholders of a cooperative society are only getting 80 per cent. of the flour which they got before the War, and will he take steps to have this regulation removed?


I will bring the matter to the attention of the Food Controller.