HC Deb 10 March 1919 vol 113 cc864-5

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture if he is aware that, owing to uncertainty as to the policy of the Government in regard to the future im- portation of hops, anxiety exists among hop-growers as to whether it is desirable to restore the hop acreage which was grubbed during the War, and generally as to the place which hops should take in agricultural arrangements for the future; and whether he will make a statement after consultation with the Board of Trade which may serve as a guide to hop growers in this respect?


It is proposed to retain the present control of hops for the crop of 1919. Until that crop has been disposed of the importations of foreign hops will be restricted to the amount that is shown to be necessary to provide for the quantity of beer for the brewing of which authorisation is given from time to time. I am unable to give the hon. Member at this stage any further information on the future policy of the Government with regard to foreign imports.


Can the hon. Gentleman give any assurance that the Government policy, with regard to the future, will be announced at a reasonable date; and does he appreciate the importance of this to those who are growing hops for commitments beyond the present year?


As an old Kent Member I fully appreciate the importance of the matter, but I am not in a position to make an announcement to-day.