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Spanish Wine (Imports)

Volume 466: debated on Monday 27 June 1949

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asked the Minister of Food what was the value of wines imported from Spain during the last full year to the end of May; and whether, in view of the unfavourable balance of trade with Spain, he will restrict imports of wine from that country.

The value of wine imports from Spain during the year ended 31st May, 1949, was £2,153,388. I am advised that this country's balance of payments with Spain is not at present unfavourable.

In view of the need to restrict imports of a non-essential character, can the right hon. Lady justify the importation of £2 million worth of wine this year?

We have never said that we shall restrict consumption of, say, sherry, of which this importation largely consists.