HC Deb 17 February 1944 vol 397 cc345-6
51. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Food whether he can now make a statement in regard to the postponed distribution of oranges to the people of Britain.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Mr. Mabane)

While early shipments of oranges were delayed, cargoes are now arriving at a satisfactory rate. A first allocation at the rate of 1 lb. per head of the population has been made to traders throughout the country. The second allocation is about to start and will, I hope, be completed by early March.

Sir T. Moore

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his hopeful anticipation may I ask him whether it would not be wiser in future to defer announcements of this nature until the fruit is actually available, and so avoid disappointment?

Mr. Mabane

It is, of course, unfortunate when announcements are made and they turn out, in the end, to have been made too soon. We were disappointed about our shipments in December, but at the present time we are up to date.

Mr. E. Walkden

Will the Parliamentary Secretary consider a complete change of policy in future by importing concentrated orange juice, in view of the losses we have suffered through decay and other means?

Mr. Mabane

That is a different question from the one on the Order Paper. Perhaps the hon. Member will put it down.

Forward to