HC Deb 11 July 1919 vol 117 cc2147-8

asked the hon. Member for Cheltenham, as Chairman of the Kitchen Committee, if he is aware that pats of butter are being sold in the Members' Tea Room at a penny per pat, and that four of these pats weigh exactly a quarter of an ounce; and, in view of the fact that these pats are therefore being sold at the rate of £1 1s. 4d. per lb., will he take steps to stop this excessive profiteering in food?


(Chairman of the Kitchen Committee): In answer to the question of the hon. and gallant Member, I can assure him that the Kitchen Committee has no intention of profiteering. The amount of the portions of butter distributed was governed by a Regulation of the Food Control, which restricted us to one-thirtieth of an ounce per head per meal. The charge was fixed at a penny per portion, as that seemed to be the only convenient and appropriate coin for the purpose. I am aware that a smaller coin does exist, known, I believe, in Caledonian phraseology as a bawbee, but it is not much in evidence South of the Tweed. The Food Control having recently removed the maximum Order, increased portions of butter are now being supplied, and will be continued during the summer months.


Is the hon. Member aware that one-sixteenth part of an ounce of butter costs one penny? Is the hon. Member also aware that according to the S.R.O., dated 18th September, 1918, the retail price of butter is restricted in price, and may not be sold for more than 2s. 6d. per lb., which would work out that each portion of butter for a penny would be a little over half an ounce?


I think I have answered that question in anticipation. We were only allowed to supply one-thirtieth of an ounce per person per meal, and the penny was fixed as the most convenient and appropriate charge.

Sir J. D. REES

Is the butter supplied at this price real butter of the best quality?


Yes; we have no margarine.