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Cakes And Pastries (Prices)

Volume 438: debated on Monday 9 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Food what was the reason for the recent substantial increase in the prices charged by confectioners for cakes and pastries.

The maximum price for cakes of a defined quality was raised from 1s. 6d. per lb. to 2s. 6d. per lb. on 16th February, to enable bakers to meet recent increases in the cost of many ingredients and to make use of some of the more expensive ones, which are now becoming available again.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that housewives do not find that the increase in prices is reflected in the increased quality of the cakes; secondly, does he know that it is credibly believed that the bakers are already making higher margins of profit than most other retail traders?

In reply to the first part of the supplementary question, we only allowed this increase in prices under a defined list of ingredients which must be contained in the more expensive cakes in a defined amount. We shall certainly endeavour to enforce that. I should very much like to hear of any case where that is not being complied with. With regard to the second part of the question, this means a diminution and not an increase in confectioners' margins.