HC Deb 03 May 1950 vol 474 c1695
62. Mrs. Mann

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that onions and other vegetables have increased greatly in price since decontrol; and if he will take steps to bring down these prices by reimposing controls, if necessary.

Mr. Webb

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friends the Members for West Ham, North (Mr. A. Lewis) and Willesden, West (Mr. Viant) on 1st May.

Mrs. Mann

That reply has absolutely nothing to do with the case. If I may recall it, it did not state that control or decontrol had really influenced the prices. The Question was different, because it had regard to today's high prices for vegetables. I would like to inform—[HoN. MEMBERS: " No, ask.1 May I ask the Minister if he is aware that when carrots were decontrolled on Monday, the price in Glasgow rose from 2-/cl. to 91c1. per lb. and if he is aware that decontrol [HON. MEMBERS: " Speech."] Hon. Members opposite are trying to shout me down because they do not like it. Is my right hon. Friend aware that the price of onions has risen from 4d. to 8d. and remained at 8d. all during the winter months just because of decontrol?

Mr. Webb

The answer is " Yes, Sir."

Mr. York

Is the Minister aware that the reason for the shortage, or higher price, of onions is mainly because of the failure of the Government to protect British growers last season?

Mrs. Castle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that one of the reasons why vegetables are so dear at the moment is that the present arrangements for their marketing and distribution are so unsatisfactory? Will he give careful consideration to the proposals made by the Lucas Committee for improving those prices?