HC Deb 27 July 1953 vol 518 cc878-9
31. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Minister of Food whether he is now in a position to authorise the marketing of branded margarine.

The Minister of Food (Major Lloyd George)

I have nothing to add at present to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) on 6th July.

32. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Minister of Food when he expects to be in a position to end the rationing of margarine and cooking fats.

Major Lloyd George

As my hon. Friend is aware, derationing depends on our ability to pay for substantial extra imports of materials, a high proportion of which must be bought for dollars. I cannot say exactly when this will be possible.

Sir I. Fraser

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend bear in mind that the sooner he finds it possible to let the law of supply and demand govern the sale of butter and margarine the better value the people will get and the more of both commodities they will get at a reasonable price?

Major Lloyd George

I agree with my hon. Friend, but the initial steps in getting sufficient quantities to meet the situation depends upon foreign exchange.

Mr. Robens

Do I understand that the problem is not now what it was stated to be formerly, that the late Government did not send out enough business men to scour the markets of the world, but is inability to pay for the goods?

Major Lloyd George

The supply position proves that what we said then was right. The right hon. Gentleman is well aware of the currency situation. I have never suggested that there was no difficulty about currency, and when, owing to the policy of this Government, currency became available, we were able to deration sugar.