HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 cc606-7
26. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the excessive stocks of sweets which have accumulated in London wholesale warehouses and which are in danger of deteriorating; and whether he proposes any temporary increase in the ration.

Mr. Strachey

I hope to make a statement soon when the inquiries now being carried out are completed.

Mr. Keeling

Is the Minister aware that both the output of the manufacturers and the stocks of the wholesalers are far in excess of what the shops can get rid of, and will he consider at least a temporary increase in the children's ration?

Mr. Strachey

My information is that output is certainly not in excess, but if there are stocks available that is another matter.

Mr. Shurmer

Is the Minister aware that recent complaints were made by the confectioners in Birmingham that their warehouses were completely stocked with sweets, and that the only answer of the Minister was that they were to spread them about.

Mr. Strachey

I am not aware that that was the answer of the Minister; in fact I am aware that it was not the answer of the Minister.

Mr. Benn Levy

Is it untrue that there are in fact stocks of sweets accumulated to such an extent that they are in danger of deterioration?

Mr. Strachey

That is exactly the point on which we have asked the trade to make an inquiry, and they are on the point of giving us their report on the matter.