HC Deb 26 July 1950 vol 478 c456
60. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Food if he will now allow the public to have the choice of buying a white loaf of pre-war quality at an unsubsidised price.

Mr. Webb

No, Sir. There would be great practical difficulties in working such an arrangement, and I do not think it would be justified. I hope that the hon. Member will feel that the change in the extraction rate largely meets his request.

Mr. Hurd

Is the Minister aware that the provision of an un-subsidised white loaf is the practice in Scandinavia and that it works quite satisfactorily? Is he aware that it would save the taxpayer many millions of pounds in food subsidies?

Mr. Webb

Yes, Sir, it might, but for the moment—I would not say it is the case in the long run—it would lead to all sorts of possible black markets and difficulties. We think that, on balance, the best thing to do is to decrease the extraction rate to 80 per cent., which we have done.

Mrs. Jean Mann

If my right hon. Friend finds that a white loaf is impossible, will he consider the great pleasure it will give to housewives if they could buy some white flour for bread-making?

Mr. Vane

Does the right hon. Gentleman think this is a risk which is more worth taking than the killing of meat at Islington just before the week-end?