HC Deb 31 January 1949 vol 460 c1364
29. Mr. Beechman

asked the Minister of Food what steps he is taking to stop the importation of Italian cauliflowers, which, without any advantage to consumers, endangers a home industry which has been officially encouraged.

Dr. Summerskill

The retail price of cauliflowers is substantially above what it was a year ago and during the past few days there has been a rise in wholesale prices. I cannot therefore accept the hon. Member's contentions.

Brigadier Rayner

Is the hon. Lady aware that the district of Kingsbridge in South Devon produces the best broccoli in this country, that we could provide it for the public much cheaper and fresher than the Italians can, and that we cannot now sell all that we grow?

Commander Agnew

Is the Minister aware that the Devon and Cornish producers cannot play their full part in the drive for more British food, and neither can they give full employment to workers in the industry unless the restrictive clauses in the Geneva Tariff Agreement are revised, so as to permit higher duties on supplies of foreign imported broccoli, and would the Minister consult the President of the Board of Trade with a view to early action?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. and gallant Gentleman surely cannot be aware of the facts. The duty plus freight charges on Italian cauliflowers amount to 17s. 6d. per cwt., whereas the freight charge on cauliflowers from the West of England is 3s. 3d.

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