HC Deb 07 December 1939 vol 355 cc861-2W
Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is aware that owing to the shortage of stocks of Lancashire cheese, producers at the present time are obliged to send out cheese only a few days old, and are unable to supply their customers with more than one-third of their usual requirements; and whether, since Lancashire cheese is mostly sold in a limited area and cannot be replaced by Colonial cheese, he can take steps at an early date to remedy the present position?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

While the supply position of cheese as a whole is not unfavourable the stocks of Lancashire cheese may have decreased recently. I could not agree, however, that Lancashire cheese is not replaceable by other varieties. The home production of cheese generally has been reduced lately by the necessity for increasing the output of condensed milk for Service requirements. The general problem of milk products, including cheese, is under active consideration.

Sir E. Makins

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is aware that during November the situation of the stocks of Cheshire and Lancashire cheese has become seriously aggravated, and that unsold stocks are now much less than last year's, particularly as many retailers are not carrying their normal stocks through fear that the cheese controller might commandeer them, or fix an unremunerative selling price; and whether, in these circumstances, he will re-investigate the position with a view to remedial action?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The information at present available suggests that there may have been some decline in stocks of Cheshire and Lancashire cheese during November. I have no information as to stocks in the hands of retailers, and there is no intention of requisitioning such stocks. The price of the varieties concerned is being regulated by the manufacturing and trade interests in consultation with the Ministry of Food and the position is being kept under constant review.

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