HC Deb 31 July 1946 vol 426 cc950-1
54. Sir W. Darling

asked the Minister of Food if he is prepared to withdraw egg control in Great Britain, and so bring this country in line with Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Italy and Greece, where no egg ration obtains.

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir; control is necessary to ensure that the available supplies of eggs are distributed fairly amongst consumers. I do not share the hon. Member's apparent assumption that foreign arrangements are necessarily superior to our own.

Sir W. Darling

Is the Minister aware that at the end of the last war—in 1918, to be precise—the price of an egg in this country was 6d., but the high price received brought other producers into the market, and it fell to 2d.? Cannot that process be followed in the present circumstances?

Mr. Strachey

It is perfectly possible to apply the method advocated by the hon. Member by increasing prices, but we happen to think it the worst possible method. We are also sure that it could not at present increase supplies, which are limited by feeding stuffs.