HC Deb 21 July 1953 vol 518 c180
9. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, with a view to reducing the cost of all fruit and vegetables, he will allow the free importation of all varieties and at all times, and cancel the closed periods now in operation, instead of increasing such periods and reducing the tonnage each year as the present policy has been of recent years, thus causing artificially inflated prices by a deliberately contrived shortage.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

No, Sir.

Mr. Freeman

Is not the policy of the Government to set the people free? Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that it would be an extremely good thing to relax controls which increase the cost of living, which affects every member of the community?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The hon. Gentleman's suggestion would, of course, mean that protection would be removed altogether from the horticultural industry, which I do not think in the long run would serve anybody's interest, least of all the British housewifes'.

Mr. G. Wilson

Will my right hon. Friend do everything he can to continue the protection of the British horticultural industry which has been seriously handicapped by foreign dumping on many occasions?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I shall pursue the policy I am pursuing at the present time.

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