66. Mr. DOYLE
asked the Food Controller whether sugar is supplied to jam 248 manufacturers at about 7d. per lb., to the public at 8d. per lb., and has been recently advanced in price to condensed milk manufacturers in England to about 1s. per lb., thereby increasing the price of condensed milk, which is largely used for feeding children, by about 2d. per tin?
§ Mr. PARKER
So long as the price of condensed milk was controlled the Royal Commission on the Sugar Supply continued to supply manufacturers at 66s. per cwt., a price actually below the economic value of sugar. When control was removed on February 1st the price of the sugar was raised to the figure at which issues are made to other manufacturers. The price of sugar allocated to jam manufacturers was advanced to the same level as from March 22nd, on which date the price of sugar for domestic consumption was increased from 8d. to 10d. per lb., except in the case of sugar already in the hands of retailers.
Can the hon. Gentleman state why there is a differentiation between the price of sugar used in the manufacture of jam and the price of sugar used in the manufacture of condensed milk, and whether condensed milk is not at least as important as jam in view of the fact that it is used largely for children?
§ Mr. PARKER
I cannot answer in detail beyond saying that in my reply I stated that the price was advanced to the same level in the case of jam on March 22nd.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the effect of penalising a home industry is very serious from the point of view of unemployment?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
On a point of Order. As this is a question of great importance to everybody in the country, ought we not have, without any disrespect to the hon. Gentleman, a responsible Minister present to give an answer?