HC Deb 25 February 1920 vol 125 cc1730-2W

asked the Minister of Food why sugar is being held up in Belfast; whether he is aware that there are several warehouses in which sugar is stored to such an extent that they have refused to take any further consignments; and whether, in view of this, he will order an increased allowance to the people of the city?


Stocks of sugar are being held in Belfast in order to supply a proportion of Ireland's requirements during the next few weeks. I am aware that several warehouses are unable to accommodate further supplies, but this fact does not justify the raising of the sugar ration in Belfast to a level in excess of that obtaining in other parts of the United Kingdom. The considerations which must govern the amount of the sugar ration from time to time are in no way dependent upon the amount of stocks at any particular moment in any part of the country, but upon the supplies available as a whole at the present time. The world stocks of sugar are approximately three million tons below the normal consumption, and nearly 3 million tons below the increased level of consumption due to the changed conditions in the United States of America.


asked the Minister of Food what allowance of sugar will be made this summer for those who have fruit and wish to make it into jam?


The Food Controller is not able to state the exact quantity of sugar which will be issued to meet the needs of persons desiring to preserve fruit for domestic use during the coming season, until the returns showing the number of persons applying and the quantities applied for have been received. The quantity will, however, be considerably less than was available last year.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

asked the Minister of Food by what amount per head the sugar ration would be increased if the present allowance of sugar to manufacturers of sweatmeats and confections were reduced by one-half?


The increase in the domestic sugar ration in the circumstances referred to would be five-eighths oz. per head per week.


asked the Minister of Food if he is aware of the discontent generally and specifically with local food control committees due to the very low sugar ration, which they maintain is unnecessarily low if the supplies of sugar at present in ports and docks were distributed; and what steps are being taken to get the stocks of sugar distributed so that the domestic ration can be increased?


The answer to this question was printed in yesterday's OFFICIAL REPORT.

Captain W. BENN

asked the Minister of Food when he hopes to be able to restore the 8oz. ration of sugar; and whether he has already in existence machinery for the provision of supplementary rations for the young in connection with milk distribution?


The question of an increase in the domestic sugar ration is under consideration, but it is not yet possible to give an indication of the date at which it may be effected. Difficult questions of supply and finance are involved. The hon. and gallant Member may rest assured that the 8oz. ration will be restored at the earliest possible moment. The arrangements for giving priority in milk supply to children could not conveniently be applied to the rationing of sugar. The Food Controller is averse from embarking on a complex system of supplementary rations in this commodity, unless it is more clearly seen that the early restoration of the 8 oz. general ration is impossible.

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