HC Deb 06 April 1908 vol 187 cc933-4
MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the recent discussion upon the subsidy now paid for the introduction of Jamaica bananas at the annual meeting of the National Federation of Fruit and Potato Trades Associations, and to the statement made in the course of that discussion that, when there was a big crop of English strawberries or other home-grown fruit, the supply of bananas did a great deal to spoil the market for them, and to the further statements that the banana trade was the only branch of the fruit trade that was artificially propped up, and that other branches were able to hold their own without artificial aid; and whether he will at the earliest moment give notice that it is the intention of the Government not to renew this artificial aid to a Colonial industry at the expense of the British taxpayer, and to the injury of competing home industries.


The attention of the Secretary of State has not been called to the discussion to which the hon. Member refers; but I may observe that the subsidy paid under the contract of the 15th of April, 1900, is not paid solely on account of the carriage of bananas, but also secures a direct service of mail and passenger steamers and that only one half is paid by the United Kingdom, the remaining half being paid by Jamaica. The contract has been laid before Parliament as Cd. Paper 175 of 1900.

EARL WINTERTON (Sussex, Horsham)

asked if it was not the case that the importation of these bananas furnished cheap and nutritious food for the people.

MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)

asked if it was not a fact that nearly all the Jamaica bananas came from South America.

[No Answer was returned.]