§ 35. Sir FREDERICK THOMSON
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the losses incurred by the Scottish fruit-growing industry last season through the importation of foreign fruit pulp, and that much fruit was left unpicked; and whether he has any information as to the effect of this on the amount and the duration of the employment of those engaged in the fruit harvesting in Scotland last year as compared with recent years?
Mr. W. ADAMSON
I would refer the hon. Member to my replies to questions by the hon. and gallant Member for North Midlothian (Major Colville) on 24th February and 10th March. I am well aware of the position and would repeat what I said then that the first necessity in the industry is that the growers should organise themselves and that the Marketing Bill at present before Parliament will enable them to do so. With regard to the second part of the question, I have no precise information as to the amount of employment afforded in connection with fruit harvesting in Scotland last year as compared with previous years, but my information is to the effect that in the largest fruit-growing area there was no decrease in the amount of employment provided. I may add that there appears to have been a very large crop of raspberries last year, due partly to the introduction of a more prolific cane known as the Lloyd George variety.
§ Sir F. THOMSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that large quantities of Russian fruit pulp were sold in this country at a price hardly above the cost in this country of picking the fruit alone; and, arising out of the second part of the question, is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that thousands of women who were employed in Scotland in fruit-picking last year, were dismissed after only three weeks' work, and that very large quantities of fruit were left unpicked?