HC Deb 28 February 1918 vol 103 cc1530-1
30 and 31. Sir OWEN PHILIPPS

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether West African and West Indian cocoa contains about 50 percent. of cocoa-butter, which is a most valuable fat for culinary purposes; if so. why is the import of this cocoa restricted whilst the importation of other tropical products with a slightly lower percentage of oil is given every encouragement; (2) whether a duty of 4½d. per lb. is imposed on cocoa-butter sold retail in this country whilst on the same article of food, if exported, the duty is rebated; and, if so, whether he will consider the advisability, in view of the fact that cocoa-butter can be made a valuable butter substitute, of encouraging at the present time the import of both West African cocoa and West Indian cocoa into this country and prohibiting the exportation of cocoa-butter?


It is a fact that West African and West Indian cocoa contains about 50 per cent. of cocoa-butter, on which, sold by retail in the United Kingdom, a duty of 4½d. per lb. is imposed. Since, however, there are already comparatively large stocks of cocoa beans in the United Kingdom, and since the output of cocoa powder and cocoa-butter is limited by the capacity of the manufacturing plant in this country, it has been thought advisable to restrict to a certain extent the importation of West African and West Indian cocoa. The importation of the other oil seeds alluded to by the hon. Member is essential for the margarine industry for which purpose cocoa-butter is not so suitable. The export of cocoa-butter from the United Kingdom is already prohibited.

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