HC Deb 01 December 1952 vol 508 cc1096-7
41. Colonel Stoddart-Scott

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that Turkey has imported from Britain in the last 10 months seven times more than Britain has imported from Turkey; and if he will consider purchasing more of the available currants and raisins.

Major Lloyd George

I am aware that Turkey's imports from the United Kingdom greatly exceeds her exports to us. I have already bought a quantity of raisins from the 1952 Turkish crop and expect to buy more, subject to agreement on price and quality. So far as I am aware, no currants are available for export from Turkey.

Colonel Stoddart-Scott

Could my right hon. and gallant Friend say why, when there is such a satisfactory trading position with Turkey, we should not have an abundance of currants and raisins in this country, as they have some surplus at the moment?

Major Lloyd George

In my answer I pointed out that so far as I am aware there are no currants available for export. We have obtained raisins from them.

Major Beamish

Is the Minister aware that the Turks have a considerable quantity of coarse grains available, I believe considerably in excess of one million tons at the moment? Provided that a satisfactory price can be negotiated can we have the Minister's assurance that he will do everything possible to make some kind of long-term contract with them?

Major Lloyd George

I will, but the fact is that they are asking a very high price at the moment—beyond the world price—which I am not prepared to pay.

Mr. Lewis

Will the Minister let private enterprise buyers go out and settle this?