§ Mr. C. EDWARDS
asked the Minister of Food whether 1,000,000 tons of sugar was stored in this country in March last; whether the normal amount stored before the War was 450,000 tons; whether the former amount would be sufficient to ration the people at half a pound per head per week for two years and a half; whether the effect of the 6d. per lb. just put on will mean a profit of £;56,000,000 to the Government; and if he will take steps to see that this profiteering by the Government on the people's food shall be put a stop to?
§ Mr. McCURDY
There is no truth whatever in the suggestions contained in this question. The total amount of bonded sugar in store in this country on the 31st March last was 265,000 tons. The price of sugar is fixed merely with a view to preventing an ultimate loss to the taxpayer. For grocery sugar the prices charged are far below those prevailing in other parts of the world.
§ Major M. WOOD
asked the Minister of Food what was the average import price per cwt. of sugar during the first four months of 1920, the amount per cwt. of import duty, and the average price per cwt. received on sale to manufacturers and to retailers for domestic consumption, respectively?
§ Mr. McCURDY
I am not quite clear as to the exact meaning attached by my hon. and gallant Friend to the term "import price," but according to the returns published in the accounts relating to the trade and navigation of the United Kingdom, the average value per cwt. declared in the case of sugar imported into this country during the first four months of 1920, was 56s. in the case of refined, and 41s. 5d. in the case of unrefined sugar. The amount of the import duty is 25s. 8d. per cwt. The average prices at which the Sugar Commission sold granulated sugar during these months, were 69s. 6d. per cwt. for grocery purposes, and 108s. 6d. per cwt. for manufacturing purposes, duty paid, ex store, less 1½ per cent. discount.