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Spring Onions (Prices)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that a considerable quantity of spring onions remains on the arms in Norfolk for which there is little demand with the ruling low wholesale prices and the retail prices charged in all parts of the country continues at I0d. Per lb.; and whether he will take steps to reduce retail prices so that consumers can have the benefit of available supplies.

There have been difficulties in marketing spring or green onions in some parts of the country and certain districts are faced with surplus supplies. My information is that during the past few weeks the most usual wholesale price at the main markets, has ranged from 3d. to 6½d. per lb. The maximum retail price was reduced on 15th June to 8d. per lb. There is nothing to prevent retailers from selling below this price. Reports I have received show that an increasing number of retailers are selling below the maximum. The maximum retail price will be further reduced next month to 5d. per lb.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware, so far as selling below the maximum price is concerned, that in all the shops I have noticed the maximum price has been charged, and that many of the producers in the Eastern counties are unable to sell their onions at any price?

I find it difficult to reconcile the supplementary question of my hon. Friend with the information I have given.