HC Deb 26 February 1919 vol 112 cc1763-4W
Major-General Sir NEWTON MOORE

asked the Food Controller whether he can give an assurance that the order preventing the sale of confectionery and chocolates to theatres, cinemas, etc., will be not withdrawn in the near future; is he aware that such withdrawal, if contemplated, would inflict hardship on the small retail confectioner, who can now only obtain limited supplies, and would only benefit the proprietors of the theatres and cinemas, who at the present time are making enormous profits without embarking on side lines; and, in releasing supplies, will he give priority to those small tradesmen who rely on the sale of confectionery exclusively for their livelihood?


The Food Controller cannot give the undertaking asked for in the first part of the question. I am, however, informed that the manufacturers, at the request of the Royal Commission on the Sugar Supply, are prepared as long as is necessary so to arrange the distribution of their output as to safeguard the smaller retailers from any temporary hardship which may arise.


asked the Food Controller whether he is aware that, owing to the shortage of labour and of materials other than sugar, confectioners are still rationed by the manufacturers, and that the withdrawal of the Order restricting the sale of confectionery and chocolates by other traders must reduce the supplies available for those small shopkeepers who depend upon the confectionery trade for a livelihood; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?


I must refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer which I have already made on this subject.


asked the Food Controller whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction amongst small traders at the revocation of the Sale of Sweetmeats in Theatres (Restriction) Order, 1918, as from the 1st March proximo; and whether he will postpone such revocation for a reasonable period to enable the smaller traders, who are mainly dependent on sales for their livelihood, to obtain stocks, which are still very short, from the manufacturers?


It is not the intention of the Ministry to postpone the revocation of the Order. As regards the latter part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. and gallant Member for North Islington on the same subject.

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