HC Deb 27 November 1950 vol 481 cc764-5
14. Mr. Yates

asked the Minister of Food how much canned ham is being imported, and from what countries, before Christmas; and what steps he is taking to see that the available supply is equitably distributed throughout the country.

Mr. F. Wiley

Canned hams are imported by private traders mainly from France, Holland, Poland and Australia. and I have no information as to how much they will be able to import between now and Christmas. It would not be practicable to control distribution.

Mr. Yates

Is my hon. Friend aware that the great mass of the people are unable to obtain ham because of its price, ranging from 11 s. to 12s. a lb., which is entirely prohibitive? Will he ask his right hon. Friend whether there would not be the possibility of cheaper ham for Christmas if he controlled distribution?

Mr. Willey

These hams are imported under open block licences, and I can think of no satisfactory way of controlling distribution.

Mr. Marlowe

How does it come about that all these countries have a surplus of ham—while we have not—which they can export?

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