§ 49. Mr. G. Williams
asked the Minister of Food what allocation of sugar is to be granted to the canning industry for this year's crop; and how it will compare with last year's allocation.
My right hon. and gallant Friend hopes to be able to consult the trade within a fortnight. I cannot yet say how soon it will be possible to introduce an alternative scheme.
The industries represented by the Food Manufacturers' Federation, which comprise only a part of the sugar using industries, have had their allocations cut by some 15,000 tons per annum. 27W This cut has been apportioned by the Ministry among individual firms irrespective of membership of the Federation.
§ 58. Mr. Benn
asked the Minister of Food what representations he has received from manufacturers whose supplies of fondant sugar have been cut off as a result of the cancellation of import licences last November; what machinery exists in his Department for keeping in contact with these independent manufacturers; and whether he will reconsider his rationing arrangements so as to spread the burden of these cuts more equitably over the whole industry.
A number of manufacturers have drawn my right hon. and gallant Friend's attention to the hardship, of which he is well aware, caused by the cuts in imports of fondant. Manufacturers, whether they belong to trade organisations or not, are free to put their case to my Department and frequently do so. As regards the last part of the Question, my right hon. and gallant Friend is considering the problem and hopes to consult the trade on it within a fortnight.
§ 61. Mr. Osborne
asked the Minister of Food how much sugar is available from dollar sources and at what prices; and if he will take steps to explain to the British people that sugar rations could be materially increased if the price, quality and quantity of our dollar exports were improved.
There is enough dollar sugar in the world to free us from sugar rationing. It is impossible to estimate what the prices would be under such conditions of altered demand. The importance of increasing exports to earn more dollars with which to buy this and other desirable foods has been emphasised again and again by members of Her Majesty's Government, and cannot be repeated too often.