HC Deb 03 April 1947 vol 435 c2227
100. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that, recently, peaches were bought retail in South Africa at 3d. each and plums at 6d. per lb.; that quantities of this fruit were loaded into a ship and the retail prices. in London were, peaches 1s. 6d. each and plums 45. per lb.; if he will explain this increase; and to whom the profit accrues.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summer-skill)

Peaches and plums are imported not by the Ministry but on private account, under open general licence, and they are not price controlled. These fruits coming from South Africa, however, are brought in only through the agency of the South African Deciduous Fruit Board and are handled by the Board's representative in the United Kingdom.

Sir W. Smithers

Is it not a fact that when this fruit arrives it does not remain the property of the importer; it has to go to the pool?

Dr. Summerskill

I would remind the hon. Member that this is an example of private enterprise.

Sir W. Smithers

The hon. Lady has not answered my question.