HC Deb 05 February 1941 vol 368 cc967-8W
Sir J. Mellor

asked the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Trade, as representing the Ministry of Food, whether, in view of the present shortage of slab chocolate for sale to the public in contrast with a plentiful supply of boxes of assorted chocolates, which, in proportion to their food value, are far more expensive, he will compare the ratio of profit to the manufacturers on these two commodities; and whether, as a condition of supply of raw materials, he will require manufacturers to produce a greater proportion of slab chocolate?

Major Lloyd George

Proposals have already been formulated designed to increase still further the proportion of chocolate production represented by slab and block chocolate and other comparable lines, with a corresponding reduction in more expensive lines. These will operate from 1st March. It should be understood, however, that chocolate manufacturers, in accordance with the policy of the Ministry, have for some considerable time been producing a materially greater proportion of such lines than the pre-war proportion. The latest figures available show the production of all chocolates selling at more than 2s. 6d. per lb. (in spite of increased prices due to increased costs) to be less than 5 per cent. of the total production. The ratio of profit on the more expensive lines does tend to be higher, but this, in turn, has enabled products in greatest demand to be sold more cheaply than would otherwise be the case.