HC Deb 31 January 1949 vol 460 cc1364-5
30. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Food what was the average cost price to his Department, including expenses, of the carrots his Department offered for stockfeed in a letter dated 12th January, 1949, at 56s. 6d. per ton delivered loose, or 64s. per ton in 1 cwt. sacks.

Dr. Summerskill

The average cost of these carrots, bought to implement the guarantee to growers, is £9 5s. per ton loose, and £9 12s. 6d. in sacks.

Sir W. Smithers

In view of these figures, may I ask the right hon. Lady how much longer is the Ministry of Food going to be allowed to gamble at the taxpayers' expense, and would it not be better if all these attempts to control carrots and potatoes were left to the growers, the distributors, the public and the housewives?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Gentleman has a very short memory. Perhaps he has forgotten that it was not my right hon. Friend who introduced this guarantee; it was introduced at the beginning of the war when we realised that the

The quantities of soft fruits imported into the United Kingdom in each of the months April October, 1948 inclusive, were as follows:
In tons
April May June July August September October
Gooseberries 15 393 2
Strawberries 38 488 1,237 2 4 1
Currants 46 642 25 34 50
Bilberries 283 1,591 643 164 18
Raspberries and Loganberries 5
Total 38 503 1,964 2,237 672 199 68
Note.—Soft fruits of other kinds than those shown above (e.g. blackberries) are not separately enumerated in the Trade Returns.