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Canned Tomatoes And Ham

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Food why he is increasing the tonnage of canned tomatoes and tomato juice imported into this country and reducing the tonnage of canned ham and bacon.

The hon. Member has overlooked the seasonal factor. Imports of canned tomatoes and tomato juice are being reduced as compared with last year.

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman agree that, with the constant withdrawal of sources of real meat for the British public, even a small reduction in the sources of canned meat which supplements the rations is a serious matter? Would he not agree that people would prefer to have even a little canned meat rather than tomato juice, which is largely consumed by the American Forces in this country?

I cannot accept the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. Tomato juice is an extremely popular commodity in this country. As regards meat, naturally we would rather be able to buy more, but I refuse to take any responsibility for that situation at any rate. The actual cuts in canned meat are much less extensive than in the case of the other commodities, which are about 50 per cent. in respect of canned tomatoes and 25 per cent. in respect of the juice.