§ 31. Mr. Wilkins
asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the varying retail prices of nuts, walnuts and chestnuts in particular, he will take immediate steps to impose a reasonable controlled price for this Christmas fare.
§ Mr. Strachey
I have great sympathy with my hon. Friend's object, but on the whole I have come to the conclusion that in the case of these minor foodstuffs such as nuts, it is better not to attempt control, but to let the ordinary play of the market operate. I face the fact that this may mean all sorts of anomalies and possible profiteering while demand exceeds supply. But it will produce and in this case has produced increased supplies. Government buying and control is really not suitable to these small, miscellaneous and perishable foodstuffs. Needless to say my hon. Friends need have no fear that we shall put any of the great staple foodstuffs at the mercy of the market so long as demand exceeds supply.