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Butter (Price)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 28 June 1954

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asked the Minister of Food whether in view of the fact that butter purchased by his Department at 2s. 11d. per lb. is retailed at 3s. 10d. per lb., or more, he will reimpose price control.

No, Sir 2s. 11d. per 1b. is the f.o.b. price for Southern Dominions butter. To the average f.o.b cost must be added the cost of freight, duty, handling expenses, overheads and costs of distribution before a true comparison with the retail price can be made.

Having regard to all the normal and legitimate costs of transport and distribution, is it not quite obvious that the Ministry of Food is getting far too great a share of the swag, and that out of this 11d. margin, the Minister is taking 5d. or 6d. a 1b.?

I assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that his guess is quite wrong, and that the modest profit, which may at any time turn into a loss, is not of the size that he guesses.

Does the Minister appreciate the significance of this Question, which states that butter is sold at 3s. 10d. per lb., although that fact was hotly denied by the party opposite last week?