HC Deb 11 June 1947 vol 438 cc1067-8
53. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the grievance of United Kingdom merchants arising from the inaccurate information given by his Department about the ending of the period for the importation of new carrots; and why, in view of the fact that the Rotterdam merchants had been advised officially from London that the period was to be extended for two or three days, similar official information was not given to United Kingdom merchants interested in such importation.

Dr. Summerskill

The period of importation ended on the 31st May, but as it was learned that some consignments which had already been bought could not arrive here until two days later, the shippers were notified that they would be accepted. It is regretted that this information was not at the same time communicated to merchants on this side, but I must point out that the concession was made to help those already committed and not to permit new business.

Mr. Janner

Will the hon. Lady take the necessary precautions in future to see that this kind of incident does not occur again, because it places British importers in a very difficult position?

Dr. Summerskill

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Walkden

In view of the fact that there is still a shortage of carrots and other spring produce, why should we refuse to accept anything that Holland can produce in the way of food?

Dr. Summerskill

Because the crops in Holland at the moment are infested with Colorado beetle.