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North American Fruits

Volume 531: debated on Monday 26 July 1954

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51.

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that continued refusal to restore the traditional imports into this country of North American apples and pears may lead to a readjustment of production which will deprive British consumers of this class of fruit for which, in the past, they have shown appreciation, and which provides an essential addition to the supplies available from home-grown sources; and when he anticipates it will be possible for him to indicate what policy will be followed in the forthcoming winter.

It is hoped that the fears of my hon. and gallant Friend will prove unfounded. Unfortunately there are many competitors for our limited dollar resources and it is not yet possible to anticipate the answer to the last part of the Question.

Is my hon. Friend sympathetic towards the importation of fruits from Canada and the United States if dollars are available? There is a demand in the winter time by the public for such fruits and this will not be detrimental to fruit growing interests in Great Britain?

It is essentially a matter of dollar resources. My hon. and gallant Friend should address his Question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that ample supplies of fruit are available not only from internal sources but also from Europe and Commonwealth countries, and that there is no need to waste dollars when we can get the goods elsewhere?

I appreciate the hon. Member's point, but the case for the importation of this fruit is that it arrives in the early months of the year when supplies of dessert fruit are not particularly good.