§ 40. Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he will in the future only sell sugar on the condition that the retailer sells it without requiring the buyer to purchase any other article; and whether he will refuse to sell sugar for the purpose of manufacturing sweets?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of FOOD CONTROL (Captain Bathurst)
In reply to the first part of this question, I am unable to add anything to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for the Attercliffe Division of Sheffield on 15th February. As regards the second part, the Food Controller has already taken steps through the Sugar (Confectionery) Order, 1917, to reduce to 50 per cent, of their 1915 consumption the amount of sugar which may be used for the manufacture of sweets. The question of further restriction in this direction is under consideration.
Has the hon. Gentleman considered that a system of sugar tickets is the only system that wall protect people with small incomes and enable them to obtain the sugar to which they are entitled?
I have already explained to the hon. Member that that matter has been fully investigated, and it is not thought in the best national interests to employ in this direction so large a proportion of our available man-power which can be utilised so much better in other directions.
This is a very difficult and complicated question, and the risk involved in adopting the right hon. Baronet's suggestion is that it might result in the remedy being worse than the disease.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
May I ask my hon. Friend whether I am to understand from his answer to the first part of the question that he is considering the matter?
Yes; and I may assure the right hon. Baronet that as soon as the Food Controller returns to his duties, which it is hoped he will do in the course of a few days, he intends to investigate fully the whole sugar position.