Hon. DOUGLAS ABBOTT (Minister of Finance):
Mr. Speaker, a few days ago the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefen-baker) asked me a question arising out of a press statement regarding sugar stocks in storage in Canada. According to the report to which he referred, these stocks were large, and he asked me whether in view of that situation consideration was being given to increasing the ration by approximately four pounds per person, to take up the surplus. I told him at the time I thought the situation was not such as to justify an increase in the ration. The information I have found is as follows.
While it is true that there are considerable stocks of sugar in the country at the present time, this is no indication that sugar rationing could be abandoned. In fact the world sugar situation is still quite tight, and the abandoning of sugar rationing is out of the question for some time to come.
The reason for the large stocks of sugar on hand now is that we have been receiving quite heavy deliveries of Cuban sugar against our international allocation. Under this international arrangement the actual shipments to Canada are governed by a number of factors, and we take the sugar when we are able to get it, and store it for future use.
Our allocation will allow an approximate per capita consumption of about 80 pounds this year, which is nine pounds better than last year, but still ten pounds or so below the prewar per capita consumption.