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West Indian Produce (Marketing)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 28 June 1954

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asked the Minister of Food whether he will make a statement on the marketing arrangements regarding the procurement of foodstuffs from British West Indian territories.

The only foodstuffs bought by the Department from the British West Indies are sugar and concentrated orange juice. The sugar is marketed through the trade, the orange juice distributed under the Welfare Foods Scheme.

In view of the anxiety expressed recently, which the hon. Gentleman will appreciate, will he look at this matter sympathetically and see that the vital food-producing industries in the West Indies are adequately safeguarded?

I appreciate the point which the hon. Member has in mind, particularly in relation to bananas and citrus fruit, and I assure him that the representations of the West Indian delegates have been very sympathetically examined.

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether any progress was made during the recent discussions with the West Indian fruit delegation on the question of citrus fruit?

Yes. What was explained and what was promised to the West Indian delegation, as recently described to the House by my right hon. and gallant Friend, relieved their anxieties in relation to citrus fruit.