HC Deb 11 July 1949 vol 467 cc9-10
18. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that certain firms are exploiting the sweet shortage by putting trashy sweet substitutes on the market at exorbitant prices; and what steps he intends to take to protect the public against this profiteering.

Mr. Strachey

A small number of products resembling sweets are being manufactured under licence and sold at agreed prices. They are made of wholesome ingredients, but they are not sweets and should not be sold as such. If my hon. Friend has in mind any sweets which are being made without a licence, I will willingly investigate any particular cases of which she can send me details.

Mrs. Castle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the National Union of Small Shopkeepers is very concerned about this matter? Cannot he take steps to prevent children being exploited by the sale of trash like "Yankee Tit-bits," a sealed packet of which, when opened, is found to contain nothing but a few broken wafers, a locust bean and three nuts?

Mr. Strachey

The enforcement of the law on health grounds is, under the Food and Drugs Act, the responsibility of local authorities, and I cannot interfere in that matter.

Mr. Austin

For further information on this matter would my right hon. Friend refer to an article on this subject in "Reynolds News" yesterday, and to the suggestion made therein that the Ministry of Food should request local authorities to take certain powers which they already have?

Mr. Strachey

Perhaps my hon. Friend means that they should use them, for they already have them.

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