asked the Minister of Agriculture if he can indicate the grounds on which he considers it impracticable to issue Regulations to compel millers in this country to mill a given percentage of English wheat?
The proposal would entail transporting home-grown wheat to mills at ports, where only a small percentage of such wheat is used, and sending imported wheat to inland mills, where in many cases the percentage of home-grown wheat used is high. This would be costly and wasteful. There are also considerable administrative difficulties; for example, it would not be1484W easy to decide on the exact figure at which the percentage should be fixed; if too high a figure were taken an actual shortage of wheat would occur and it would become impossible to give effect to the Regulation; if too low a figure were taken, the Regulation would obviously not have the effect desired. In any case, considerable supervision of the milling industry would be necessary, which if not impracticable is highly undesirable. Unless it increased the price of wheat and therefore of bread, it would not help the British farmer. I am advised that it would increase the price of bread, and on this account the proposal is politically impracticable.