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.
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 577 has machinery. The only thing he can do is to buy machinery himself? Does he not think that that is somewhat uneconomical?
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?