HC Deb 22 December 1915 vol 77 cc474-5
65. Mr. BIRD

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, seeing that the sugar refiners, the multiple-shop companies, and co-operative societies have each a spokesman on the Sugar Commission, he will also appoint a representative of the individual grocer, drawn from the Grocers' Association, the recognised organised representative society of the general retail grocery trade throughout the United Kingdom?


Having regard to the size of the Commission as now constituted and to the fact that it has worked very well, I am not prepared to recommend an addition to its numbers at the present time.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that considerable loss was incurred by the smaller traders by the sudden reduction in the price of cube sugar, which might have been obviated had they had the same representation on the Commission as their more privileged competitors?


I am not prepared to admit that they have privileged competitors, nor am I prepared to admit that heavy losses have occurred. My hon. Friend must not forget that if they make losses on the reduction of price they may make gains on the rise of price, and there had been a rise in price very shortly preceding the drop in price.

Sir J. D. REES

Are the retail interests to have no consideration?


I think that in forming the Commission there was adequate representation of the retail interest. I think it would be of doubtful value in a Commission of this kind to take in representatives of every interest in the country. No case has really been brought to our notice in which the interests of the traders have not been fully safeguarded.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is no representation of the Irish sugar trade on this Commission?