HC Deb 14 August 1940 vol 364 cc779-80
46. Mr. Leach

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he will state the substances from which the vitamin to be added to flour is obtained?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Mr. Boothby)

The vitamin, which is derived from many different substances, is composed mainly of the atoms of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, but the process by which these atoms are linked together so as to be in the same form as that in which they occur in nature is an extremely complicated one.

Mr. Leach

Is the Minister aware that there are many medical men in this House who are very sceptical about this device?

Mr. Boothby

I am also aware that there are many medical men and scientists in this House and outside it who are warmly in favour of it.

Mr. Pickthorn

Can my hon. Friend say whether the process to which he referred is all done under the patent of Roche, Limited?

Mr. Boothby

No, Sir, the process to which I refer has been undertaken by various firms in different countries, but I understand that Roche, Limited, are the only firm at present producing in this country.

Sir Francis Fremantle

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is not one medical man who does not consider it infinitely better to have wholemeal bread?

Mr. Boothby

The view of the Government is that a large number of people in this country do not care to eat brown bread, and this is really the primary reason for the decision which has been come to.

Mr. De la Bère

Are the Government wedded to these vested interests? Is it not true that nothing further is intended?