HC Deb 23 November 1949 vol 470 cc367-8
52. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Food what increased purchases he is making of oranges, dates,

figs and nuts from North Africa, in view of the fact that a 50 per cent. cut has been made under the Marshall Aid Plan on private traders.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summer-skill)

Private imports of these commodities are made under open general licence and are not subject to restriction on quantity. I do not know to what cut my hon. Friend refers.

Mr. Freeman

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this statement was given considerable publicity in the Press, and will she repudiate it? Can she also assure the House that the largest possible amount of these desirable commodities will be provided?

Dr. Summerskill

I shall be very glad if my hon. Friend would send me the Press cuttings. The answer to the second part of his supplementary question is "Yes."

Mr. Janner

In view of the great importance of having as many commodities as possible available, can my right hon. Friend say what is the cause of delay in the negotiations between her Department and the citrus growers of Israel, and whether the matter can be disposed of fairly quickly?

Dr. Summerskill

That is another question.