HC Deb 08 November 1954 vol 532 cc854-5
40. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Food whether he will increase the flour subsidy to enable bakers to supply the national loaf at present prices.

Mr. Amory

As indicated in the replies to the hon. Members for Newport (Mr. Peter Freeman) and Reading, South (Mr. Mikardo) on 1st November, a claim for an increase in the profit margin on subsidised bread has been submitted by the bakery trade and is now being considered.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Will the Minister make it quite clear that it is not the Government's policy to knock the small baker entirely out of existence? As it is impossible for them to carry on in present circumstances, will the Minister expedite his decision before many of these small bakeries are put out of business altogether?

Mr. Amory

We are very anxious that the small baker should have a perfectly fair deal.

Mr. Bullard

Will the Minister bear in mind the great trouble which arises because of this problem in the rural districts? Is he aware that many outlying country districts are threatened with the cessation of bread deliveries altogether?

Mr. Amory

That point is very much in my mind.

Mr. Gibson

During these discussions, will the Minister make sure that, whatever is done, the price of bread is not increased?

Mr. Amory

That is a separate question.

Captain Duncan

Will my right hon. Friend remind the policy-forming body of the Labour Party of this Question when the Labour Party are following their policy of nationalisation of the flour milling industry?