§ Mr. Moonman
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what evidence she has that retailers have held back stocks of sugar to gain greater profit margins arising from the new price increase of 4½p to 5½p.
§ Mr. Maclennan
Although I can understand the fears which have been expressed, I have no evidence that this is happening. If my hon. Friend has such evidence, I shall be glad to have it.3W
§ Mr. Woodall
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what evidence she has that grocery retailers are imposing conditions of sale, whereby a customer must purchase a specific amount of goods before he can purchase a bag of sugar.
§ Mrs. Shirley Williams
My Department has received numerous complaints from all parts of the country about this practice. I recognise that at the present time traders may find it necessary to find some means of limiting individual purchases of sugar but I have asked grocery trade associations representing both independent and multiple retailers to remind their members of the importance, when sharing out sugar supplies fairly, of making special arrangements for the more vulnerable sectors of the population, such as pensioners. I believe that retailers generally are willingly co-operating in this.