HC Deb 05 February 1947 vol 432 c1770
56. Sir Basil Neven-Spence

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware of the large number of oatmeal mills in Scotland now standing idle owing to the rapid decline in the demand for oatmeal; and whether he will introduce a more rational method of distribution in order that Scottish farmers may be able to sell the oats they grow, that Scottish millers may be able to keep their men in employment, and that the people of Scotland may be able to get the oatmeal they want on level terms with flour.

Dr. Summerskill

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given yesterday to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Hector Hughes).

Sir B. Neven-Spence

Is the hon. Lady aware that the answer given to the hon. and learned Gentleman has not removed the fundamental grievance of the people of Scotland that they have to surrender points for oatmeal? Does she realise that a great many people in Scotland have been brought up from early life to use oatmeal as their principal cereal in the form of porridge, oat cakes and so on, and would she not consider enabling them to obtain oatmeal on the same terms as other people obtain flour?

Dr. Summerskill

I consider that the people of Scotland are being treated more than fairly. The hon. Gentleman will agree that it is the common practice in Scotland to use oatmeal as a substitute for flour. The English housewife today has to give three B.Us. for I lb. of flour whereas the Scottish housewife gives only one point for a pound of oatmeal.