§ 46. Mr. Donner
asked the Minister of Food why bananas are not now available to the public in substantial quantities.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Mr. Frederick Willey)
The main reasons are that we cannot buy from dollar sources and that production in Jamaica, which formerly sent us about two-thirds of our supplies, has not yet recovered from the deterioration of the plantations caused during the war by plant disease, and hurricane.
§ Mr. Donner
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is no shortage of 378 bananas in France, and is not the fundamental reason for the shortage in this country Socialist mismanagement of supplies?
§ Mr. Peter Smithers
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the decision of his Department last year to buy disease-free Lacatan bananas is likely to result in substantial shipments soon?
§ Mr. Willey
We are governed by the factors already referred to, but we are doing what we can to encourage supplies from Jamaica.