HC Deb 20 July 1944 vol 402 cc350-1
57. Sir J. Mellor

asked the Minister of Food why sales by English growers of raspberries, loganberries and blackberries are subject to lower maximum prices than sales by Scottish growers.

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

In the case of both loganberries and blackberries a single maximum grower's price applies throughout the United Kingdom. The price was increased for raspberries grown in one area of Scotland where they were much damaged.

58. Sir J. Mellor

asked the Minister of Food why the same maximum price as last year has been fixed for plums, having regard to the effect of frost on crop prospects.

Mr. Mabane

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my right hon. and gallant Friend gave yesterday to the hon. Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère).

Sir J. Mellor

As that reply did not cover this Question, will my right hon. Friend now give some fuller information?

Mr. Mabane

I think if my hon. Friend refers to the reply I have given, he will find that it does answer the point he asked, as to why the same maximum price as last year was fixed for plums. It was in order to ensure an even return over the seasons, not taking into account fluctuations.

Sir J. Mellor

Why should the grower only get the same price for a smaller crop?

Mr. Mabane

Because last year the crop was very substantially in excess of the estimates and therefore in those two years the growers received considerably more than they were expecting to receive.

Mr. De la Bère

Why was there no consultation or arbitration? Why was this a dictated price? Why did the Minister of Agriculture "sell the pass"?