§ Mr. Piratin
asked the Minister of Food why the controlled price of pickles and sauces had been lifted, in view of the shortage of these foodstuffs.
§ Mr. Strachey
From 1941 up to 5th January, 1947, in the case of pickles and up to 11th May, 1947, in the case of sauces, the great majority of pickles and sauces were sold at maximum prices, which, owing to the wide variety, had to be calculated individually for each brand and size after detailed examination of costs. There have been many changes in costs of ingredients of late and it would have been impossible to continue the system of fixing individual maximum prices without a substantial addition to the Ministry's costing staff. Furthermore, the home manufactured product is now exposed to the competition of foreign imports; and, in all the circumstances, as there are prospects of increased production when the container position improves I decided to decontrol prices. The leading manufacturers gave assurances that their new freedom would not be abused and we have no reason to think they are not "playing fair."