§ 34. Mr. Bossom
asked the Minister of Food if he will stop the import of foreign strawberries until the farmers of Kent have had the opportunity of putting theirs upon the market.
§ Mr. Webb
No, Sir. We already have arrangements for imports to stop when the total quantity landed in the course of 848 our main season reaches 2,500 tons provided, of course, that we do not need more. I do not think that this limited import will interfere with the marketing of the home crop; it is likely to be no more than about 5 per cent. of total.
§ Mr. Bossom
Is the Minister aware that the farmers in the centre of my constituency are of the opinion that they will have to plough in their strawberries this year, because it will not pay them to pick them any more than it did to pick their plums last year? Is he also aware that they have been told by the canners that they do not want any of their pulp this year?
§ Mr. Deedes
Is the Minister aware that owing to the enormous quantity of strawberry pulp on the market, farmers are finding it impossible to make contracts with the jam manufacturers? If something is not done, and farmers have to plough in their strawberries, housewives will not be able to get any fresh strawberries next year.
§ Mr. Bossom
Does the Minister think of consulting with members of the National Farmers' Union in Kent on this subject?