42. Captain WATT
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that large quantities of foreign tomato pulp were imported into this country during 1931 to be made into tinned and bottled commodities which are sold as British products; and whether, in the interests of British tomato growers and manufacturers who use home and Empire products, he will include tomato pulp within the scope of the Horticultural Products (Emergency Customs Duties) Act?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I am aware that tomato pulp is imported into this country and that a proportion is used in the manufacture of edible commodities, some of which may be sold as British. As regards the second part of the question, since tomato pulp does not fall within the scope of the Horticultural Products (Emergency Customs Duties) Act, I am unable to make an Order imposing a duty on this commodity. My hon. and gallant Friend will, however, be aware that it will be covered by the provisions of the Import Duties Bill now before the House.
§ Lieut.-Colonel APPLIN
Is the hon. Member aware that Canadian and English tomatoes are vastly more wholesome than foreign tomatoes?
61. Captain WATT
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to what extent our imports of tomato products from Canada have increased during the last five years; and whether, in view of the growing public demand for bottled and canned tomato products, he will bring to the notice of the Empire Marketing Board the desirability of encouraging the purchase by the public of manufactures of home and Empire origin?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)
Imports into the United Kingdom of tomatoes preserved by canning or bottling, consigned from Canada, have increased from 722 cwts. in 1927 to 5,966 cwts. in 1931. No other tomato products are separately distinguished in the trade returns of the United Kingdom, but according to the figures of Canadian exports published by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, the value of exports of sauces, pickles and ketchups to the United Kingdom increased from 549,117 dollars in the year ended 31st March, 1927, to 1,346,262 dollars in the year ended 31st March, 1931. I am informed that the item sauces, pickles and ketchups consists almost entirely of tomato ketchup.
I can assure the hon, and gallant Member that the Empire Marketing Board will continue to do everything within its power to encourage the sale of these and similar products of home and Empire origin. The Board has in the past paid special attention to the marketing of canned goods and is now engaged in a detailed study of the retail demand for canned vegetables, including canned and bottled tomatoes, the results of which will be published in due course.