HC Deb 13 March 1917 vol 91 cc898-9

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that in consequence of the influx of 15,000 munition and Government workers into the borough of Rotherham there is a shortage of sugar; and will he make such arrangements as will result in the inhabitants of Rotherham getting their 50 per cent. of sugar of 1915 supplies?


The shortage of sugar in Rotherham has already been brought to the notice of the Food Controller, and arrangements were made in the middle of February for the allocation of additional supplies of sugar to the Rotherham district at the rate of 4 tons per week.


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that there is at the present moment eight to ten thousand tons of Manilla sugar in the London and West India Docks, bought by London dealers; that these dealers are not allowed to clear any of this sugar unless they give an undertaking that it is to be used for brewing purposes; and, in view of the fact that the grocers are only receiving 50 per cent. of 1915 supplies for domestic purposes, will he give instructions that the sugar dealers shall be relieved of this unfair condition?


I am aware that there are considerable quantities of this sugar in the warehouses of the docks referred to, and that its delivery otherwise than in accordance with the Brewers' Sugar Order, 1917, is being refused. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of this Order, which was intended to secure that brewers' sugar, which is of a grade generally unsuitable for domestic consumption, should be reserved for the use of brewers and brewers' sugar manufacturers. As a result of this Order, the Sugar Commission have been enabled to suspend the issue of licences for the importation of brewers' sugar, and so save a considerable amount of tonnage. The Food Controller is not prepared, as at present advised to grant exemptions from this Order in other than exceptional circumstances.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that scores of thousands of tons of Manila sugar has been used for domestic purposes and that it is usable for everything except tea?


Yes. I am aware that such sugar is being used for domestic purposes. I am also aware that the fact of this supply being reserved for brewing purposes enables the Food Controller to disallow any licences for further importations for that purpose?


Does not the hon. Gentleman think the time has arrived when even this sugar should be used for domestic purposes and not for brewing?


Only recently the Government have taken somewhat drastic action in this direction, and I have not the least doubt that if the requirements of the nation necessitate it further and more drastic action will be taken.

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