§ 76. Mr. R. GWYNNE
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the fact that, owing to the dumping of tomatoes from Holland, the price of our home growers has been reduced from 10s. and 12s. 6d. perdozea pounds to 6s. and 7s., and that, owing to the increased agricultural wages, the cost of production amounts to about Vs. per dozen pounds, which leaves no profit for the grower; whether market gardeners will be compelled to largely reduce their staff if this competition continues; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent the decrease in home production of "tomatoes which will follow?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Sir Arthur Boscawen)
The Board are watching carefully the effect of foreign imports on the prices of home-grown vegetables, and have no evidence to show that there is any decrease in the production of tomatoes due to imports from Holland. The interests of market gardeners will be borne in mind when the Government's general trade policy is developed.
§ Captain W. BENN
Is it part of the Government's policy to restrict imports of food into this country?
§ Mr. GWYNNE
In view of the fact that tomatoes are being restricted from Spain, will the hon. Gentleman see that the restriction is applied to Holland?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
The whole question is being considered in relation to the general trade policy of the country.
§ Mr. BILLING
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, unless some steps are taken in this matter, thousands of men will be thrown out of work; and will he give some consideration to the employment of men in this country?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
I have already said that the matter is under the observation of the Board, and that the whole matter is being considered in connection with the general trade policy of the country.