HC Deb 13 March 1950 vol 472 cc742-3
43. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the fact that the Canadian Government are sending a further million boxes of gift apples to Great Britain, it is proposed to distribute these boxes as gifts to consumers or whether they will be sold to the trade.

Mr. Webb

I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving me this opportunity of thanking publicly the fruit growers of British Columbia who have sent us this most generous gift. The Commonwealth Gift Centre will distribute to school children as many of the apples as it can safely handle. However, we have incurred heavy freight charges from Vancouver which we must recover, and the remainder of the apples will, therefore, be sold at current prices. I might add that the donors have agreed to this course.

Mr. Baldwin

Will the Minister make quite sure that our Canadian friends know the position, because they are very much annoyed to think that the apples which they are sending as a gift are being sold to the public? They feel that the Ministry of Food are using this method to cover up losses on some of their other purchases.

Mr. Webb

My information is that they have agreed to this course, and are quite happy about it. If the hon. Gentleman has information to the contrary perhaps he will let me have it.

Mr. Osborne

Can the Minister tell the House what are the average transport costs per pound of apples?

Mr. Webb

Not without notice.

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