HC Deb 23 November 1937 vol 329 cc1039-40
67. Mr. Gallacher

asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether, in view of the steadily increasing cost of foodstuffs, he will take steps to reorganise the Food Council so as to provide a better representation of working-class and consumers' interests, and to give the council powers enabling them to enforce any recommendations made towards keeping prices at a reasonably low level?

Mr. Stanley

The Food Council, as at present constituted, is, in my view, well qualified to represent consumers of all classes. I see no reason for reorganising it, nor would I recommend that it should be given compulsory powers.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware of the condition that affects the housewives in this country arising out of the very great increase in prices, and does he not see the necessity for making this Food Council a Council composed of housewives and trade unionists, with power to impose restrictions on the profiteering in prices that is going on?

Mr. Stanley

I should like to tell the House that one of the members of the Council is a working-class housewife and that there are several representatives of the Co-operative movement and also of trade unions.

Mr. H. G. Williams

Will my right hon. Friend say how much cheaper butter is in this country than in Russia?

Mr. Davidson

In view of the ever-increasing protests against the increase in the cost of living, does the Minister think that housewives are adequately represented on the Council?

Mr. Gallacher

Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise this question on the Adjournment, and if public nuisance No. I wants to discuss Russia, I am quite willing to discuss Russia with him.