HC Deb 15 July 1942 vol 381 cc1232-3
52. Commander Locker-Lampson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he intends altering the standard loaf by the inclusion of a proportion of rye wheat; and whether, before doing so, he will consider whether the presence of rye wheat in flour in the last war was not one of the causes of the influenza epidemic?

Mr. Mabane

My Noble Friend has asked my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to secure an increase in the home production of rye on land not suitable for wheat with a view to its wider use for human consumption. No decision has yet been taken as to the introduction of rye into the national loaf. As regards the last part of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question, I am advised that there is no evidence that rye in flour was the cause of the influenza epidemic at the end of the last war.

Commander Locker-Lampson

What was the cause of the epidemic of influenza after the last war?

Mr. Mabane

I wish I knew.

Sir J. Lamb

Can my hon. Friend give any indication as to when it is possible or probable that rye will be used?

Mr. Mabane

There is no intention of introducing rye into the standard loaf this year, if for no better reason than that there is not enough rye available for the purpose.