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Chocolates And Sweets

Volume 465: debated on Monday 16 May 1949

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3.

asked the Minister of Food why small retail shops in Brighton and Hove and small wholesalers are not receiving their regular supply of sweets, whereas the larger stores have enough sweets to sell.

The distribution of sweets is primarily in the hands of the trade. The manufacturers gave me an assurance before we de-rationed sweets that the increased supplies would in the early stages be distributed as fairly as possible throughout the country, based on the wholesalers' or retailers' trade under rationing.

Is the right hon. Gentleman really satisfied with that answer; is he going to do nothing to help the smaller people; does he not think that the smaller people should be looked after a bit; and does he not realise that they cannot possibly carry on as long as this situation continues?

I see no reason to accept the implication that manufacturers or wholesalers are being unfair to smaller retailers.

Does my right hon. Friend now at least recognise the folly of Lord Woolton's theory that the economic troubles of this country would be removed by the removal of sweet rationing?

Having put the Question to the right hon. Gentleman and intimated the problem, am I to understand that he will do nothing about it?

The hon. Gentleman has very strongly urged me to interfere with and coerce wholesalers and manufacturers in this country, but I shall not do so until I am sure that there is a case for doing so?

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that in this House I asked him whether he was satisfied that on de-rationing sweets, there would be sufficient sweets to go round, and that he said there would be?

I said, and I repeat, that the estimate of the manufacturers is that the present level of manufacture will satisfy the demand. We shall see whether or not that estimate proves right.

13.

asked the Minister of Food whether, in connection with the shortages of both chocolates and sweets which are occurring in some parts of the country, he will make additional allocations of raw materials of chocolate to sweet manufacturers so as to ensure that the public are not faced with shortages in the near future.

Is the Minister aware that that answer is quite misleading? Is he further aware that in order to make the rationing scheme, which is vitally necessary to the country, work, he has to give an allocation of seven ounces per person. It is no good giving a miserable half-ounce. What is the good of all this jiggering about? Do something about it.