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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 25 Apr 1968

Vol. 234 No. 3

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bread and Flour Prices.


asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the various increases which have taken place in the price of the two pound loaf and a stone of flour since 1st April, 1957, stating the date and the amount of each increase.

The information available to me covers the period from 1960 to the present. As it is in the form of a tabular statement, I propose, with your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, to circulate it with the Official Report.

Particulars from 1957 to 1960 are not readily available because of the decontrol of flour and bread prices in May, 1957, but will be forwarded to the Deputy at a later date.

Following is the statement:—


(1) Flour.

Amount of Increase (reduction) per 280 lbs. sack

Date on which increase (reduction) became effective

Bakers' Flour

Shop Flour



5th September, 1960



November, 1961





January, 1962



21st October, 1963

3/- Port Areas 5/- elsewhere

9/6d. all areas

31st March, 1964



23rd November, 1964





1st January, 1965





13th March, 1967



18th December, 1967



16th April, 1968

(2) Bread

Rate of Increase:

1d. per 4 lb. loaf

19th September, 1960

½d. per 2 lb. loaf

20th November, 1961

¼d. per 2 lb. loaf

15th January, 1962

¾d. per 2 lb. loaf

4th November, 1963

¾d. per 2 lb. loaf

24th February, 1964

½d. per 2 lb. loaf

3rd May, 1965

2d. per 2 lb. loaf

13th March, 1967

2d. per 2 lb. loaf

18th December, 1967

May we take it that there has been an increase in the price of bread since Mr. de Valera stated: "Do not believe Fine Gael. We will not reduce the subsidies. We would not dare to increase the price of such an important item of food for the poor." Since the Leader of Fianna Fáil made that statement in 1957——

In Belmullet.

——the price of the loaf has been trebled.

The Deputy is tempting me but I will resist it.

Does it bear out the statement made by the Minister in reply to a question earlier this week that the millers are being reduced to beggary? The Minister, a couple of days ago, said the millers were reduced to beggary.

That is a separate question.

Deputy O'Leary is too intelligent to put a question like that. First of all, he is aware that I did not say they were reduced to beggary. Secondly, he is equally well aware that whatever the increases may have been this bears no relation to whether or not the millers are making profits. To determine profits one has to relate the price received to the cost incurred in producing the commodity. The Deputy knows this as well as I do. Therefore, it follows that to talk about the increasing cost in price only, without reference to the increase in the cost of production, means nothing and the Deputy being as well aware of that as I am, I can only conclude that he is trying to mislead people.

The Minister suggested that the answer was to subsidise. I suggested otherwise and I would suggest looking at the profit margins in the industry.

I would invite the Deputy if he can give me evidence that I have not got regarding the profit margins such as would enable this to be done, I will be only too happy to do it. I do not wish to see the price of bread increased and the Deputy knows that I am sure but it is too easy to come in here and talk about increases in the price of bread and talk about alleged profits of the millers but not to have to stand over this.

The millers of this country misled the people by heavy advertisements in our national newspapers giving misleading ideas. They are the most reactionary element in this country.

I presume the Deputy is aware that those advertisements are directed at me and the Government.

I hope you will take the message.