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Citrus Industry

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 30 November 1961

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37.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his discussions with the West Indian citrus industry.

A meeting was held last week, between my right hon. and noble Friend and representatives of the West Indian Citrus Industry, and it was agreed that certain inquiries should be made before a further meeting was held. In these circumstances, I am not at present able to make a statement.

Would not my hon. Friend agree that the present grave situation facing the industry is due largely to changes of policy in this country quite beyond the control of the West Indies? Does he recall that the Government gave a promise to the industry last April that we would do all that we could to publicise the availability of orange juice concentrates for mothers and children? Will he try to stimulate a little action in that direction to help the industry?

This is a very complicated question. I will certainly bear in mind what my hon. Friend has said.

May I remind my hon. Friend that the promise was made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health to this House and that very little money has been spent on advertising this product to the public? Will he arrange with his hon. Friend for rather more active steps to be taken in this direction?