HC Deb 10 April 1946 vol 421 cc1931-2
77. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Food whether grapes, peaches, nectarines and apricots will be imported from Holland, Belgium and Italy this summer; and whether he will give an assurance that facilities will be given for the unrestricted importation of these fruits from South Africa next season to the full extent of the shipping available.

Sir B. Smith

Current arrangements permit the import from Holland of the commodities named. No arrangements have so far been made for importing them from Belgium or Italy, and in regard to South Africa I regret that at present I am not in a position to give the assurance asked for.

Mr. Keeling

Is the Minister aware that there is a strong feeling in South Africa that South Africa next season should receive at least equal treatment with Italy?

Sir B. Smith

I can assure the House that South Africa will receive equal treatment as and when the time becomes opportune, but at the moment I cannot take any.

Captain Francis Noel-Baker

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Greeks expect to produce £100,000 of grapes this season, and will he look into the possibility of importing some of this fruit from Greece?

Sir B. Smith

If my hon. and gallant Friend will put the Greeks into touch with me, I shall be happy to discuss the matter with them.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that, with few exceptions, common or garden oranges, bananas and grapefruit are of much more interest to the people of this country than are grapes, peaches, nectarines and apricots?

Sir B. Smith

My hon. Friend seems to have taken some note of the Question.