HC Deb 11 May 1950 vol 475 cc576-7
64. Mr. F. P. Crowder

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will allow the British Pioneer Tobacco Growers' Association to shred tobacco on behalf of its members, and thereby encourage the development of tobacco growing in this country, with a view to saving dollars now spent on the importation of foreign tobacco.

Mr. Jay

No, Sir. A concession has been granted in favour of amateurs growing and curing tobacco on their own premises and has been extended to permit co-operative curing under certain conditions, but my right hon. and learned Friend does not feel that he would be justified in further extending this concession to cover manufacturing operations carried out on a substantial scale.

Mr. Crowder

Does the Minister realise that under the existing regulations if a private planter has not got shredding machinery of his own, he is not allowed to take his tobacco to another firm which has machinery. The only thing he can do is to buy machinery himself? Does he not think that that is somewhat uneconomical?

Mr. Jay

The object of the regulations is to enable people to grow and process tobacco on a small scale for their own use, and we do not think it is justifiable to go beyond that.

Mr. Vane

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the shredding of tobacco is not at all easy? I have been trying to shred some this year and it is not easy. Will he do something about it, because all one can do is to chew the tobacco?

Sir I. Fraser

Why must this be done on a small scale? Surely the larger the scale, the more we shall smoke and enjoy it?

Mr. Jay

I understand that the view of the agricultural experts to this is that it is better to devote land to food production than to tobacco.

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