HC Deb 17 December 1945 vol 417 cc901-2
15. Mr. John Foster

asked the President of the Board of Trade for what reason an import licence for mistletoe for sale in this country during the forthcoming Christmas season has been given to one firm and refused to all others; and whether, in view of the fact that the grant of such a monopoly must tend to encourage undesirable practices, he will undertake that henceforward all such applications will be dealt with in consultation with the appropriate trade organisation, thus ensuring a fair deal for all traders involved.

16. Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction of the fruit and flower trade about the decision of his Department to grant a licence to one firm only and to no others to import mistletoe during the present season from France; that this decision is unfair to the pre-war importers of French mistletoe and will result in unsatisfactory and uneven distribution of the small importation permitted; and what steps he proposes to arrange for a more equitable form of importation and distribution in similar cases in future.

Sir S. Cripps

In order that the mistletoe should arrive in time for our first postwar Christmas, licences were issued to the first two applicants, and these absorbed all the very small amount of foreign exchange available for this purpose.

Colonel Thornton-Kemsley

Will the Minister make it clear that the words "undesirable practice," refer to the granting of monopoly, and not to the possible use to which mistletoe might be put?

Sir S. Cripps

Certainly, Sir.

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