§ 38. Colonel HOWARD-BURY
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the exceptionally large imports of foreign black currants into this country; and whether, in the interests of black currant growers in the country, he is taking any steps, similar to those taken with regard to cherries, to prohibit their import?
§ Dr. ADDISON
The importation of black currants this year, though considerable, is appreciably less than was the case at this period last year. There is no reason at present to believe that the importation of these currants involves any danger to plantations in this country from pests and diseases, and consequently there is no justification for taking action under the Destructive Insects and Pests Acts similar to that taken in the case of cherries.
§ Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that very large quantities of black currants are coming in to-day, and, seeing that the foreign crop gets ripe much earlier than the British crop, could not he fix a date after which no further currants should come in to compete with the British crop?
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
Is it not a fact that the import of black currants is balanced by the export of red currants?
§ Dr. ADDISON
I have no power to do what the hon. and gallant Gentleman suggests, but he is misinformed about the facts. The facts are that this year up-to-date the importation is 83,000 cwts., as against 99,000 last year.
Mr. FRANK OWEN
Is the right hon. Gentleman taking any steps whatever to encourage the proper marketing of the home-grown crop?