HC Deb 09 May 1940 vol 360 cc1402-3
58. Mr. G. Griffiths

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is yet in a position to make a statement in connection with the extra allowance of sugar for fruit, particularly for that in the most common use, namely, apples and blackberries plucked from the hedgerows?

59. Mr. Mathers

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is now in a position to make a statement regarding the supplies of sugar for preserving home-grown fruits and rhubarb and also wild fruits gathered for preserving?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

My noble Friend has decided to extend the date for the receipt of applications for sugar for making jam from home-grown fruit to Saturday, 18th May. How much sugar will in addition be available to persons who desire to make jam from wild fruit and purchased fruits, is a question which cannot be decided until the amount of sugar required for the preservation of the cultivated fruit crop is known. My noble Friend hopes that in view of the sugar situation the public will show moderation in making their applications. Special consideration is being given to the question of sugar for growers of rhubarb.

Mr. Mathers

Does not the Minister realise that even the new date is much too early for people to be able to estimate what fruit they will be able to preserve, especially in the way of wild fruit, which is not ready until at least two months later than the date which is fixed for the application for sugar?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

It is essential that we should have a rough idea of how much the home fruit crop needs in the way of sugar before we can help people who produce or buy rhubarb.

Mr. Mathers

Will the widest publicity be given to the necessity for these applications to be in by the date which the hon. Gentleman has mentioned?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We shall take every step to ensure that being done.

Sir J. Nall

Is it not the fact that at this date it is quite impossible to estimate the yield?

Mr. G. Griffiths

Will the Parliamentary Secretary give serious consideration to this blackberry and apple business, because it comes on later when the poor people gather these fruits?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

It will be because of that fact that we want the earlier statement as soon as we can.

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