21. Mr. Philips Price
asked the President of the Board of Trade the value of the excess of exports from this country to Turkey over imports from that country; and what steps are being taken to increase our imports from Turkey in such a way as to decrease our dollar purchases.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
During the first five months of 1952 imports into the United Kingdom from Turkey were £4,074,000 (c.i.f.) and exports, including re-exports, were £17,491,000 (f.o.b.). The principal limiting factors in the sale of 611 Turkish produce in the United Kingdom are the usual commercial considerations of quality and price, and I would ask the hon. Member to bear in mind that in our present state of deficit in the European Payments Union additional imports from Turkey would involve corresponding increases in our dollar payments to the Union.
Would not the increased purchase of dried fruit from Turkey save us from making dollar purchases of similar products?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
I understand that the Ministry of Food have already bought 9,000 tons of Turkish sultanas this year.