HC Deb 21 February 1940 vol 357 cc1354-5
67. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Food whether he will have an inquiry made to obtain some explanation as to the variation in charges made by bakers in the price of the 4-lb. loaf, since, as a result of the war, there is only one class of flour available and only one price for that flour delivered to all points in the United Kingdom?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

There have always been variations in the costs of production and distribution in the baking trade and these still remain although the price of flour is uniform. Attention is being given to this question as part of the investigation into bread prices now being conducted by my Department.

Mr. De la Bère

Does my right hon. Friend realise that we shall never get this matter right until a public inquiry is held, and that it is in the public interest that the manoeuvres of the milling combine should cease?

Sir Irving Albery

In view of the constant allegations which are made in the House against the milling combine, does not my right hon. Friend think it is due to the combine and to the public that such an inquiry should be made?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware that my hon. Friend has from time to time mentioned the milling combine, but hitherto the allegations have been of a general character and I do not think such an investigation as is called for is necessary.

Mr. De la Bère

Is it not vitally necessary this should be done?