HC Deb 04 February 1942 vol 377 cc1193-4W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what is the purpose of the Order by which farmers who have been accustomed to grow and mill their own wheat are no longer allowed to do so without special licence, sometimes obtained with delay and difficulty; and whether he is aware that the effect of this Order is to discourage the local production of corn and flour and to put out of operation country mills and thus strengthen the monopoly employed by a small group of millers who have secured control of 80 per cent. of the whole output of flour in this country?

Major Lloyd George

The purpose of the Wheat (Control and Prices) Order, 1941, is to secure complete control of the home-grown wheat crop, and to ensure that the maximum quantity of homegrown wheat is used for flour milling. The Order provides that a grower must sell his wheat to an approved buyer, but placed no restriction on purchases by country millers, as every controlled flour miller is an approved buyer. In the somewhat rare case of a country mill and a farm in identical ownership, the grower is not effecting a sale when he mills his own wheat, and a special form of licence is necessary to avoid a technical breach of the Order. Such licences are granted readily on application. As regards the second part of the Question, no country' mills have been put out of operation by this Order. On the contrary, as my hon. Friend will be aware from the reply given to his Question of 22nd January, 1941, some country mills which had gone out of production before the war have been re-started.