HC Deb 05 March 1956 vol 549 c1682
6. Miss Burton

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that the price cocoa manufacturers have been paying for beans from West Africa has dropped from 4s. 8d. to 2s. 3d. a lb. but that this reduction has not yet been passed on to shoppers; and if he will reimpose price control on this commodity in order to prevent excessive charges being made for distribution.

Mr. Amory

The prices quoted by the hon. Member are not representative. The annual average price per lb. of imported West African cocoa was 3s. 3¼d. in 1954 and 2s. 11¼d. in 1955. The retail prices of a number of brands of chocolate have recently been reduced. The answer to the last part of the question is "No, Sir."

Miss Burton

Is the Minister aware that the price of cocoa to the consumer has not been reduced? Is he further aware that the price was increased in July, 1954, when the price of cocoa beans reached its maximum; and does he not think that the customers should have the benefit of the reduction in the price of the raw material, in view of the fact that they have had to bear the increase?

Mr. Amory

I think that the hon. Lady will find that when the price of cocoa increased rapidly the prices of the finished product were not increased in anything like the same proportion as the price of the raw material.

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