HC Deb 12 April 1951 vol 486 cc1177-8
33. Colonel Gomme-Duncan

asked the President of the Board of Trade what allocation of sulphur he is proposing to make this year to the manufacturers of the fruit preservative known as S.O.2 to enable them to meet the requirements of preserving the soft fruit crop in Scotland which is expected largely to exceed last year's production.

Mr. Rhodes

We cannot forecast now what the level of sulphur supplies to manufacturers of sulphur dioxide (S.O.2) might be at the time the soft fruit crop in Scotland will be ready for gathering. The need for sulphur dioxide for the preservation of fruit will be borne in mind and related to the other uses of that chemical in considering at the appropriate time the supply of sulphur for its manufacture.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will the hon. Gentleman and his Department bear in mind that the increased production and preserving of soft fruits in Scotland was on the encouragement of the Ministry of Food and that there is likely to be a very much increased crop this year? Can we have an assurance that every effort is being made to ensure that this material, which is necessary for preservation, will be in reasonable supply to meet the increased crop?

Mr. Rhodes

I will make special inquiry about that.

Brigadier Prior-Palmer

Is there any improvement in the sulphur import position?

Mr. Rhodes

I cannot report any improvement.