HC Deb 11 June 1940 vol 361 cc1123-4
40. Mr. Lipson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food why the price of unpitted bulk dates to the trade was advanced, on 27th May, from 21s. per cwt. to 25s., seeing that these dates have been held by the Ministry for many months; and that the increased price will make it more difficult for poorer people to buy them?

Mr. Boothby

Owing to the late arrival of the date shipments, a large stock of dates was left on the Ministry's hands after the Christmas trading was finished. In order to clear this stock, the price was reduced to the lowest possible level, with the result that by the end of May very small quantities of dates remained. The price was then advanced from 21s. per cwt. to 25s. per cwt. in order to cover the various costs incurred by carrying large stocks of dates beyond the normal period.

Mr. Lipson

What steps were taken by my hon. Friend's Ministry to prevent dates which were sold to the trade at 21s. being passed on to the public on the basis of 25s.?

Mr. Boothby

I would like to look into that question, but I would remind my hon. Friend that the difference is less than ½d. per pound on the retail price.