HC Deb 21 October 1952 vol 505 cc851-2
29. Mr. Teeling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the prospective shortage of some kinds of nuts, particularly Brazil nuts, during the forthcoming Christmas season; and whether, in view of the fact that Brazil under present circumstances is finding it extremely difficult to obtain sterling to pay for the substantial British exports received by her, he will reconsider the restriction imposed on the import of Brazil nuts and other Brazilian food produce into this country as a matter of urgency.

Mr. R. A. Butler

In order to right our balance of payments it has been necessary to impose restrictions upon the import of many commodities, including nuts. Supplies will necessarily be somewhat less this year than last. Within the total quotas for particular commodities, there is no limit on the amount which can be spent in individual countries, including Brazil. I consider it premature to relax any of these restrictions at present.

Mr. Teeling

Is my right hon. Friend aware that Brazil nuts are amongst the most nutritious foodstuffs one can get, and in the circumstances could not he make a special case of this matter?

Mr. Butler

Well, I will see what I can do, but I think there are other nutritive foods as well.

Mr. Follick

Is the Chancellor aware that it would be a boon to British shipping on the Amazon if this restriction were withdrawn? Is he not aware that a very fine new ship of the Booth Line, the "Hildebrand," could find only 600 tons of freight this month to return to this country and that the withdrawing of this restriction on Brazil nuts would go a long way to remedy their very difficult situation.

Mr. Butler

I have every desire to see the trade between this country and Latin America, and the shipping which provides and helps that trade, improved, and the hon. Member may rest assured that we shall do all we can.

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