HC Deb 05 December 1945 vol 416 cc2326-7
59. Mr. Touche

asked the Minister of Food the reason for keeping in force an order prohibiting any addition to the price of oatmeal when sent by post, with the result that it is now impossible for customers to get supplies by post.

Sir B. Smith

The object of the Regulation which prohibits any addition in respect of carriage to the maximum retail price where the goods on retail sale are sent by post, rail or in any other way is to prevent evasion of the prescribed maximum price.

Mr. Touche

Is the Minister aware that the cost of postage exceeds the amount allowed for transport, and, therefore, it is impossible now for any miller to send it by post?

Sir B. Smith

The hon. Member is aware that this complaint emanates from one man, who is seeking by this method to secure the margin, not only of the miller, but also of the wholesaler and retailer.

Mr. Grimston

Is the Minister aware that I have been in correspondence with his Under-Secretary on this point, and that there are certain customers who are also upset by this arrangement?

Sir B. Smith

While the article is in short supply, I cannot allow any extension of the present rule.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Now, that England has discovered the excellence of this food, will the Minister do everything he can to make it available?

Sir B. Smith

Yes, Sir, subject to the supplies being available.

Sir R. Ross

As the Minister can control oatmeal sent by post, why cannot he control turkeys in Great Britain, as he has already done, quite wrongly, in Northern Ireland?

Sir B. Smith

If only I had the assistance of Northern Ireland, I could do much better than I am doing