HC Deb 22 March 1948 vol 448 cc2568-9
40. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the fact that ample supplies are likely to be available, he will reconsider his decision to reimpose control of the distribution of home grown tomatoes.

77. Mrs. Leah Manning

asked the Minister of Food if he is yet in a position to make a statement about the price and distribution of tomatoes for the 1948 season.

Dr. Summerskill

As my hon. Friends will know, strongly conflicting advice has been given to us by the trades concerned. My right hon. Friend has, however, decided that price control must be introduced but distribution will be effected under a voluntary scheme, under which the N.F.U. ensure that, where necessary, loadings are made in consultation with my Department.

Mr. Collins

Is my hon. Friend aware that she is to be congratulated on this very wise decision, which will improve distribution, reduce the cost to the consumer and will no longer leave the wholesalers under the regrettable necessity of taking money for which they have done no work? Will she also look into similar schemes of food distribution to see whether similar action can be taken, because wholesalers would like to perform their normal functions and not receive money for nothing?

Mr. Erroll

As price control of tomatoes has led to a serious shortage in the past, can the hon. Lady say how she will prevent a shortage arising in future?

Dr. Summerskill

As it will cover only six weeks, I think the hon. Gentleman has sufficient knowledge to know that, after six weeks, there might be a glut.