asked the Minister of Food if he will give an assurance that he is making arrangements to ensure an adequate supply of dried fruit so that housewives may make their Christmas puddings; and whether this year he will secure a fairer division as between the housewife and the manufacturer.
An allocation of currants and sultanas to the full extent of our available supplies will be made on 8th October, and should reach the shops in good time for Christmas. I do not think housewives have been unfairly treated in the past. Actually, more dried fruit is sold by retail for home consumption than before the war, whereas manufacturers as a whole receive only about 50 per cent. of their pre-war usage.
Will the Minister see if he can make a general statement about Christmas rations before the House rises, instead of making it to the newspapers when the House is not here?
I could not possibly make it this week.
Since my right hon. Friend is a Lancashire man sitting for a Yorkshire constituency, does not he realise that there is a difference between the North and the South in this matter, and that Northern housewives much prefer to make their own. Christmas cakes instead of buying them in the shops?
Yes, and I hope they will find adequate supplies of currants and sultanas, though not raisins, for their purpose.