HC Deb 17 May 1950 vol 475 cc1209-10
53. Mr. Eric Fletcher

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that the high prices still being charged for vegetables is causing many working class families to go short, and of the wide demand that price controls should be re- imposed in order to lower the costs of these essential foodstuffs.

Mr. F. Willey

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

Mr. Fletcher

Is my hon. Friend aware of the great indignation felt at the scandalous prices being charged for fruit and vegetables, which make it impossible for many working class families to buy them, and will he do something about it?

Mr. Willey

As my right hon. Friend said on 1st May, there is no quick expedient or short-term solution, and buyers' resistance to unreasonable prices is the only effective means.

Mr. Baldwin

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that Members opposite clamour for price control whenever conditions make for a shortage, but that when there is a surplus farmers have to plough in their crops because of the large quantities of foreign produce that are allowed to be dumped in this country?

Mr. Leslie Hale

Is my hon. Friend aware that I should like to lead the clamour for recontrol, and that most people will be very glad to see control re-introduced unless prices come down?