HC Deb 25 February 1918 vol 103 cc1082-3
28. Mr. FIELD

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that the food value of confectionery is not disputed, and that any further curtailment of the raw material must lead to an increased consumption of other foodstuffs which it has now become a matter of urgent need to conserve; whether he is aware of the hardships under which the trade is suffering, and the certainty that a number of workers will be thrown out of employment if he persists in still further reducing sugar supplies; and whether he can state what will be done to provide a remedy?


It is true that most forms of confectionery have some food value, but I cannot admit that they are invariably consumed for that reason. In this trade, as in many others, the restrictions upon the use of raw material rendered necessary by the circumstances of the time have seriously affected all those concerned, and the possibility of affording some relief to those most dependent upon the sale of confectionery is being considered by the Ministry, but I am not yet in a position to make any announcement upon the subject.


Will the hon. Gentleman say whether all these shops will be treated alike, whether the little shop or the big shop; and is he aware that quite a number of the small shops are being put absolutely out of business while the large shops can supply any quantity?


It is because all shops are being treated alike that these claims are now being pressed upon us. Consideration is being given to the question whether, in the case of shops where the people provide only one class of goods and are wholly dependent for their livelihood on that one class of food, some special relief should not be given to those people.


Will the hon. Gentleman see that persons suffering from tuberculosis and other illnesses requiring special food will be allowed that special food on the recommendation of a medical officer?


Provision is already made for cases of that kind.


Some doctors do not know it.

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