HC Deb 06 December 1956 vol 561 cc1419-20
1. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the recent increase in the price of flour, he will reintroduce price control.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Derick Heathcoat Amory)

No, Sir.

Mrs. Castle

Is the Minister not aware that the price of flour has jumped twice in the past six weeks, despite the fact that millers are already making enormous profits out of the British farmer, both in the price of flour and in the prices of the by-products which they sell back to him at more than they originally pay him for the wheat? Does he not think it is time he broke the stranglehold of Spillers and Ranks on the British housewife and farmer?

Mr. Amory

The hon. Lady has forgotten that there is competition between imported flour and home-produced flour, That is a great safeguard which helps to ensure that the price of flour is reasonable.

Mr. Willey

In view of the fact that we must all do everything we can to hold the cost of living, and in view of the fact that the price of bread has increased since we last debated that subject not very long ago, will the right hon. Gentleman at least carefully review the topic of price control and keep it in mind and exercise it if he thinks it would be helpful?

Mr. Amory

I am quite clear on all the evidence I have at present that it would be far from helpful if I were to introduce it at the present time.

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