HC Deb 03 July 1940 vol 362 cc837-8
48. Mr. G. Strauss (for Mr. Mathers)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what steps are being taken to ensure that the food value of the exceptional crop of strawberries and other soft fruits is not wasted by failure to allow sugar for preserving?

Mr. Boothby

My Noble Friend is making arrangements which he hopes will prove effective for this purpose. Supplies of sugar to commercial jam makers are being increased, and a special allotment o sugar to the extent of 6 lbs. per ration book has already been issued to householders who are growers of their own fruit. A general additional issue of 2 lbs. per ration book will be made during the period beginning 8th July to enable householders, whether growers or purchasers of fruit, to assist further in the domestic preservation of fruit then in season. It is proposed, if the supply situation permits, that a second additional ration shall be made available later for the plum crop.

My Noble Friend has also given attention to the question of the preservation of surplus fruit grown in allotments and private gardens, for which additional sugar supplies may be necessary. Arrangements have been made throughout the rural areas of England and Wales for the co-operative preservation of fruit at the depots of the Women's Institutes and in Scotland through the Women's Rural Institutes and Surplus Fruit Disposal Committees are being set up in towns and suburban areas in England and Wales to make arrangements on similar lines where possible. When this is not possible surplus fruit will be diverted to hospitals, institutions, schools and communal centres or such other arrangements made as may be suitable in particular districts. To facilitate these arrangements a special sugar issue, on the basis of ¾ lb. of sugar per lb. of fruit for jam making, and 1/5th lb. of sugar per lb. of fruit for bottling, will be made where necessary. Similar schemes for urban areas in Scotland with such modifications as are necessary to meet special Scottish conditions are being prepared.

Mr. Liddall

Before the additional supply for plums is forthcoming may I ask whether the hon. Gentleman is aware that the hon. Member for Lincoln has a large quantity of raspberries, loganberries, black and red currants; and what must he do about it?

Mr. J. J. Davidson

Have you got all the raspberries we have given you in the last five years?