HC Deb 09 November 1953 vol 520 cc580-1
10. Sir R. Acland

asked the Minister of Food the increase in the consumption of sugar by domestic consumers and by manufacturers, respectively, since de-rationing; and at what he estimates the increase under both heads in a full year will be as compared with the consumption in the last full year of rationing.

Major Lloyd George

I cannot now give figures of the consumption of sugar generally or by category of user. The total deliveries of sugar to the home trade, however, in the first four weeks of freedom, have been at an annual rate of about 2,650,000 tons raw value. This compares with an annual rate immediately prior to derationing of about 2,500,000 tons, and deliveries during the last full year of rationing of 2,150,000 tons. It is too early yet to draw conclusions about the annual rate of unrestricted consumption.

12. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Food to what extent, prior to derationing, the price of sugar to the housewife was subsidised out of the price charged for manufacturing purposes.

Major Lloyd George

The retail price of 7d. a lb. which was in force up to 6th September last, carried a subsidy to the housewife of roughly ½d. a lb., against which there was a surplus on sales to manufacturers of about ¼d. a lb.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the Minister aware that in derationing sugar he has very cleverly covered up the fact that he has made a price reduction to manufacturers, so that the brewing industry alone had a present from him worth £250,000 a year? The housewives have had no advantage from these reductions in price which he was able to give to the brewers.

Major Lloyd George

The hon. and gallant Gentleman, as usual, is a little wide of the mark on this matter. There has been a subsidy to the housewife of ½d. a lb. during the whole period of control and rationing. That has now ceased. When that subsidy was on, the price to the manufacturers was 63s. 10d. per cwt., and to the domestic consumers it was 60s. 11d. When control and rationing ceased the figures came together.