HC Deb 10 March 1947 vol 434 c945
65. Mr. George Jeger

asked the Minister of Food whether he has any information on the possible availability of homegrown tomatoes in 1947; and whether he proposes to grant open general licences for the importation of foreign tomatoes.

Dr. Summerskill

While I have no reason to suppose that the production of home-grown tomatoes this year will differ substantially from last year's production, it is, I am afraid, too early as yet to form an estimate of the actual quantities likely to be available. Much will depend on weather conditions during the spring and summer months. As announced by my right hon. Friend in the statement made in the House on 24th October last, an open general licence for the importation of tomatoes operates between the 1st May and 31st July.

Mr. Jeger

Will my hon. Friend consult with the appropriate trade authorities in order to restrict importation where possible and encourage the production of home-grown tomatoes?

Dr. Summerskill

I will, after having consulted with the various trade organisations.

Wing-Commander Millington

May I ask whether the Ministry of Food will watch out, towards the end of this summer, in order to see that, if there is an extra couple of weeks' unexpected sunny weather, the producer of homegrown tomatoes is not forced out of the market by a glut of imported tomatoes?