HC Deb 08 December 1952 vol 509 cc25-6
31. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the application by the bakers for an increase in the price of bread, he will give an assurance that the cost of a loaf to the consumer will not be increased.

Dr. Hill

The application is for an increase in the price of the small 14 oz. loaf only. It is being examined but I cannot anticipate my right hon. and gallant Friend's decision.

Mrs. Castle

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that if the price of bread goes up

Mr. Lewis

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the figures are up or down on the average take-up?

Dr. Hill

In the case of some, the take-up is slightly up; in the case of others it is level; in the case of bacon it is down.

Following is the statement:

yet again this will further squeeze the standard of living of people who are already finding it hard to buy essential foods? Is not he aware that, even if the bakers make out a case for a small increase to them in view of their increased costs, he has a perfect remedy in protecting the consumer by providing an increase in the subsidy?

Dr. Hill

The claim is based on increased costs of production, but my right hon. and gallant Friend has reached no decision on it. That, I think, is as far as I can go.

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