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Volume 388: debated on Wednesday 31 March 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food why he has fixed prices for rhubarb, which include a large proportion of inedible leaves; and whether he will make it clear to housewives that, in buying rhubarb at the controlled price, they are entitled to insist upon having the leaves cut off before weighing?

In permitting the sale of forced rhubarb with its leaf the usual marketing practice of the trade has been followed. On 20th March, however, my Department announced that as from 12th April, by which date out-door rhubarb can be expected to be generally available, the leaves of rhubarb must be removed before sale.

Is it not the case that part of the leaves are still to be left on, and what is the good of that, as that is not rhubarb, and is not even suitable to be put into the swill bin?

It is a very small part of the leaf. Each leaf has to be severed not more than 1½ inches from the point where it joins the stem.

Why is it decided by the Minister of Food that this should be charged for when it is entirely worthless?

Is it not a fact that rhubarb leaves are poisonous and that it is inadvisable for that reason that there should be any leaf on the sticks when they are sold?

It has been the immemorial custom of the trade to sell forced rhubard as it is grown.