HC Deb 31 January 1949 vol 460 cc1378-9
58. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his Department was consulted by the Minister of Food in connection with the agreement with Holland concerning imports of onions; and what steps were taken to consult onion growers in this country.

Mr. T. Williams

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply I gave on 24th January to the hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Ely (Major Legge-Bourke), and the reply which my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade gave on 20th January to the hon. Member for Mid-Bedford (Mr. Lennox-Boyd).

Mr. De la Bère

Can the right hon. Gentleman do something about the Evesham growers, who are in a desperate position, because they are not able to dispose of their onions, a large part of which are deteriorating? It is a very important matter. Can I have a reply?

Mr. Williams

If the hon. Member insists upon an answer, I will give him the only one that can be given—when in 1947 agreements were entered into for the importation of onions, the growers in this country agreed. The same acreage was dealt with in 1949, and when it was announced in this House in March by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, there was no reaction on the part of the producers.