HC Deb 15 March 1917 vol 91 cc1289-90W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether, when the Food Controller had declared the Order of his Department, under which holders of white flour were allowed a month in which to dispose of their stocks, to be unauthorised and had with- drawn the Order, licences to dispose of the same stocks were issued and, after a short period, renewed to large numbers of these holders; whether he can state the number of licences so issued and renewed and the cost of the issue and renewal; and, in view of such cost and of the expenditure of time and energy involved, what were the reasons, if any, for the withdrawal of the Order?


During January licences were issued to 2,668 persons to use flour not milled in accordance with the Manufacture of Flour and Bread Order. The licences were for definite quantities, and for varying periods, from a week up to three months in exceptional cases, and this issue was necessary to avoid waste of existing stocks. In 100 cases it was subsequently found necessary to extend the period of the licence originally granted for the same quantity, while in 416 cases further licences have been granted in respect of additional supplies received after the grant of the first licence. The licences relate mainly to imported flour. The issue of individual licences in place of a general extension of time enabled the Department to exercise the necessary control over the use of the floor in question, an advantage which has far more than compensated for the slight administrative expenditure involved.