HC Deb 21 April 1952 vol 499 cc31-2
47. Mr. Sidney Marshall

asked the Minister of Food what were the dates of the last two allocations of dried fruits; and when the next can be expected.

Major Lloyd George

The last two allocations were made on 4th November, 1951, and 23rd March, 1952, respectively. The next will be on 18th May.

48. Mr. S. Marshall

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of abundant supplies of sultanas and raisins available from non-dollar areas, all present control by bulk purchase can be lifted so that growers may have the opportunity of supplying to British housewives the quality of fruit formerly available.

Major Lloyd George

I have under continuous review the possibility of changes in our methods of importing a number of commodities at present bought by my Department, including dried vine fruits. But our general balance of payments position has created special difficulties by making it necessary for us to control strictly our imports not only from dollar sources but also from other non-sterling sources. My information is that non-dollar supplies of dried vine fruits are far from abundant.

49. Mr. S. Marshall

asked the Minister of Food what was the cost to his Department of the dried fruits section for packaging, reconditioning, storage and port services for 1950–51.

Major Lloyd George

As the reply contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the information:

Packing and reconditioning of dried fruits are accounted for under one heading in my Department's records and the cost in 1950–51 was £73,752, of which £61,691 relates to the packaging of Ministry imported dates in ½ lb. packets for retail sale, a service which ceased in July, 1950.

The cost of storage of dried fruits in 1950–51 was £153,692. The cost of port services (i.e., supervision of landing, warehousing, sampling and assessing quality) was £37,692.