HC Deb 26 January 1948 vol 446 cc633-4
2. Mrs. Ayrton Gould

asked the Minister of Food if he is now in a position to make a statement an the allocation of sugar and sweets for the next points period, both for the domestic consumer and for the confectionery trade; and if he will consider restoring the rations to the quantities allowed before the recent cuts, in view of the satisfactory food agreements concluded between His Majesty's Government and various soft currency countries.

Mr. Strachey

I am afraid that none of these agreements has provided additional sugar from sterling or soft currency areas. All supplies available from such areas were taken into account in the decisions made. As soon as any favourable change takes place in the supply position I shall gladly re-examine the position.

Mrs. Ayrton Gould

Will not my right hon. Friend consider the position in relation to the stocks in the country, in view of the fact that potatoes are now in short supply and that, in some schools, the dinners provided contain practically no potatoes, and consequently the children are not properly fed and their parents are seriously worried about how to feed them in the home?

Mr. Strachey

Certainly, when my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is in a position to say that the dollar situation has eased sufficiently for these stocks to be used, of course, we should all very much like to use them. I am afraid that that is not the position today.

Mr. Walter Fletcher

Does the Minister's answer mean that he is still dividing, for distributive purposes, sugar bought in dollars from sugar bought in soft currencies?

Mr. Strachey

If the hon. Gentleman means that we keep them in different warehouses, certainly not.

Mr. Chetwynd

Does not my right hon. Friend think that it would be more desirable to distribute the sugar from stock now and have a cut in the summer when the warmer weather would make the hardship felt less.

Mr. Strachey

It would be desirable if the dollar position made that possible.

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