HC Deb 08 November 1939 vol 353 cc222-3
71. Mr. Leslie

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is aware that the divisional food officer in the South-West area has announced that, so far as the Department is concerned, they have no objection to Plymouth bakers selling bread at a penny per quartern loaf in excess of the price fixed for London; on what authority was this announcement made; and what is the justification for this price difference?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I understand that the divisional food officer gave advice to the Plymouth Food Control Committee in the sense represented in the first part of the hon. Member's question. There would appear to be some misapprehension on the point, for no investigation has so far been made by the Ministry of Food into bread prices outside the London area. In the circumstances I am not in a position to say whether any difference of price as between Plymouth and London is justified at the present time.

Mr. Leslie

Is the Minister aware that the local food control committee opposed this increase, which brings the price of bread in Plymouth to 9d.; and is he further aware that this means an addi-tinal profit on the output of over £3 for every man employed by the bakers?

Mr. Morrison

There is no control of the price of bread except that which is exercised in the London area under the voluntary arrangement set up by the Food Council and so there is no question of control in this matter at all.

Mr. H. Morrison

If it is the case that the Department has no reliable data upon which to give advice outside London, will the right hon. Gentleman restrain his officers from giving such advice to local food committees?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The position varies a great deal from place to place.

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