HC Deb 18 February 1953 vol 511 cc1220-1
11. Mr. Black

asked the Minister of Food whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the wholesale section of the bread industry is drawing subsidy for providing the consumer with the National fixed price loaf against retail selling costs which, in part, the wholesaler is not bearing; and if he will adjust the subsidy accordingly.

Major Lloyd George

The information on costs and margins which my Department receives from all sections of the trade does not support this view.

Mr. Black

Is it not a fact that costings as submitted to the Ministry for subsidy purposes by the Wholesale and Multiple Bakers Federation for the March and June quarters of last year showed a difference between the profit of the wholesaler and the loss of the retailer of more than 10s. per sack whereas the subsidy is the same per sack?

Major Lloyd George

The fact is that the producer-retailer provides a service which is not provided by the wholesaler. Figures published by the National Association of Master Bakers in March do not substantiate the claim that the profit is necessarily greater than that of the producer-retailer. In any case, in co-operation with the baking industry we are having an investigation into the position.

12. Mr. Black

asked the Minister of Food to consider fixing a wholesale price for the National loaf, in addition to the present fixed retail price, to allow a reasonable margin for retail selling costs based on the average of retail selling margins for all sections of the food industry given in the recently published Government census of retail distribution.

Major Lloyd George

There are no sufficient grounds for altering at this date the arrangements which have been working for twelve years.

33. Mr. Crouch

asked the Minister of Food when he will permit the return of the loaf from 1¾ pounds to its former weight of 2 pounds.

Major Lloyd George

I am looking into this.

Mr. Crouch

Is not this an opportune time when the white loaf is being introduced to let the housewife have two pounds of bread instead of one pound and three-quarters which so many think is two pounds, a practice introduced by the late Socialist Government?

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