HC Deb 26 April 1948 vol 450 cc27-8
68 and 69. Mr. Frederic Harris

asked the Minister of Food (1) if the reduction of 25 per cent, in the allocation of sugar to certain sections of the food industry can now be restored, in view of the improved supply position of sugar; and

(2) if, in view of the improved supply position of sugar, he will immediately restore the domestic sugar ration to 10 0z. weekly, instead of the present 8 0z., to which the ration was reduced last November.

Dr. Summerskill

I regret that the quantity of sugar we can afford to buy is insufficient to allow any increase in the domestic ration or allocation to manufacturers.

Mr. Harris

May I ask why it is reported that we have sold nearly £1 million worth of sugar, which was paid for with dollars and was sent to the Rand this year in return for sterling, and what is the present stock position of sugar in this country, and for what period those stocks will last at the present rate of consumption?

Dr. Summerskill

I cannot give the hon. Gentleman figures of the stocks of this country, but I think he has wrongly interpreted the report. He must realise—I have said it in the House before—that we purchase sugar for South Africa for the purpose of refining it. We are paid for that business and we find it highly profitable.