HC Deb 19 June 1950 vol 476 c844
22. Mr. Baker White

asked the Minister of Food whether he intends to impose a maximum price order in respect of the 1950 home-grown apple crop.

Mr. Webb

I am considering this matter, but I cannot announce a decision until we can make a reasonably good estimate of the probable size of the crop.

Mr. Baker White

Is the Minister aware that lack of decision in this matter is adding to the difficulties of the growers, who already have enough difficulties, and that until a decision is made they cannot go ahead with their marketing plans? Is the estimate of the growers in Kent not a sufficient indication of the sort of crop they are to get?

Mr. Webb

We cannot go ahead until we know, broadly, what the crop is likely to be. We have to balance the interests of the consumers with those of the growers. I am in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture on the matter, and as soon as I know what the crop is likely to be we shall act accordingly.

Mr. Baldwin

As soon as the right hon. Gentleman has made an estimate of what the harvest will be, and if he decides that the home supply will be sufficient, will he stop buying Italian apples and dumping them on the home market to the detriment of the home producer?