HC Deb 27 November 1950 vol 481 c765
15. Mr. Peter Smithers

asked the Minister of Food for what minimum period of years he is prepared to purchase the Jamaica and British Honduras banana crop at an annually-negotiated price.

Mr. F. Willey

Under the existing agreement with the Jamaica Government, we have undertaken to purchase annually the whole of the exportable surplus of bananas until the end of 1952. The Jamaica Banana Delegation, now in this country, has asked for an extension of the present agreement, and my right hon. Friend is considering their request. Although discussions have taken place with the Colonial Development Corporation regarding the future marketing of British Honduras bananas in this country, no offer of supplies has so far been received.

Mr. Smithers

Will the Minister bear in mind that the growing of bananas is a very speculative as well as expensive enterprise, and that unless satisfactory long-term guarantees can be given it is unlikely that the necessary extra acreage will be planted? Will he bear that in mind in the negotiations?

Mr. Willey

indicated assent.

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