HC Deb 07 April 1948 vol 449 c155
33. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the fact that the records of the sweet manufacturers throughout the country show an excess production over that required for the existing sweet ration, he will now state what they propose to do with this excess, and what his policy is as regards the reserve stocks of sweets and chocolates built up in 1947, and the quantities which have been added to these reserve stocks in 1948.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summer-skill)

It is not the case that manufacturers throughout the country hold excessive stocks, but I am making inquiries as to the exact position in all sections of the trade. No special reserve stock of sweets was built up in 1947. A small reserve stock has been maintained for some years past to meet emergency conditions.

Mr. De la Bère

Is not the hon. Lady aware of the unassailable truth that there are large stocks in Glasgow and in many other parts of the country, and that manufacturers have excessive stocks with no outlet for exports? In these circumstances, why cannot the people have another quarter of a pound on their rations?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Member must remember that we should need 5,400 tons if we increased the ration by one ounce per head per week. We must be quite sure, first, of the facts which the hon. Member alleges.

Mr. De la Bère

They have got 20,000 tons.

Mr. Rankin

Can we be informed where these surplus stocks are being kept in Glasgow?

Mr. De la Bère

If the hon. Member will see me in the tea room, I will tell him all about it.