HC Deb 05 November 1945 vol 415 cc899-900
61. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether in view of the proposed reduction by £2 of the acreage deficiency payment on wheat planted for the 1946 harvest, he will give farmers the right of a free market for that crop.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summerskill)

I have been asked to reply. The prospective supply position for wheat makes it essential that as much home-grown mill-able wheat as possible from the 1946 crop shall be used for the production of flour. I am not therefore prepared to relax the existing regulations which require a grower to sell such wheat to an approved buyer.

Mr. Baldwin

While thanking the hon. Lady for the reply, may I ask whether she considers, in view of the rise in the cost of production, that this is the right time to reduce income for this very necessary article of food?

Dr. Summerskill

In view of the fact that we need all the wheat produced in this country for human consumption, we cannot possibly leave it to individual farmers to decide how they shall dispose of this crop.

Mr. Stokes

May I ask the hon. Lady why she does not return to the 85 per cent. extraction loaf instead of pouring the stuff into the bowels of cows?