HC Deb 14 May 1952 vol 500 cc1413-4
10. Mr. Douglas Jay

asked the Minister of Food whether he will postpone the rises in food prices, resulting from reductions in subsidies, until the increased retirement pensions and family allowances come into force.

Major Lloyd George

I would refer the hon. Member to what I said in the course of my reply to the hon. Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough) and to the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. Hamilton) on 31st March.

Mr. Jay

As the Government have repeatedly stated that the rises in food prices and the increase in social benefits are intended by the Government to balance one another, why cannot the right hon. and gallant Gentleman take this step to ensure that they do so entirely? As there is no administrative difficulty, what is the reason for not doing so?

Major Lloyd George

It is not right to say that there is no administrative difficulty. The right hon. Gentleman must know that there is such difficulty. What I did say in reply to the point was that we were making every effort to get them as near to each other as possible.

Mr. Frederick Willey

In view of the desire of everyone to get some stability, will not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman have a word with his right hon. Friend the Chancellor to see if he can persuade him to delay these increases, because it is deliberately provocative to increase the price of food when the Chancellor is discussing very important matters with the trade unions.

Major Lloyd George

I am sure the hon. Gentleman appreciates that at any rate this Government have tried to alleviate the hardship by compensatory allowances in other directions.

Mr. Thomas Hubbard

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman also consider the difficulties of those old people who find it impossible to get even their meagre rations until the increase comes along?

Major Lloyd George

I think I said in a previous Question that I would make every effort to see what could be done.

Back to