§ 6. Mrs. Castle
asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that bottles of imported fruit are being sold at prices which, in some cases, are more than double the controlled price of imported canned fruit of similar weight and quality; and if he will therefore control the price of imported bottled fruit.
§ Mr. Webb
I know that this privately imported bottled fruit is expensive. The quantities coming in are, however, relatively small, and I do not think that price control would be justified. It would only stop the trade altogether and take these extras off the market. I see no point in using the instruments of price control to reduce the total supplies of food coming into this country. We should only be justified in controlling this admittedly expensive luxury import if scarce currencies were involved or if there was a risk that imports of canned fruit of the same kihds would be prejudiced.
§ Mrs. Castle
Is my right hon. Friend aware that a 20 oz. bottle of imported fruit salad is retailing at 5s. 9d., compared with Is. 6d. for a 20 oz. tin of imported fruit salad? If the price control which he has successfully operated in the case of canned goods is not preventing their import would it not be a good thing to consider, at any rate, price control of these excessively priced bottled fruits?
§ Mrs. Castle
Will my right hon. Friend explain why price control has not stopped imports of canned goods?