HC Deb 12 November 1953 vol 520 cc1129-30
27. Mr. Renton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the crop of home-grown onions is adequate to satisfy the needs of British consumers for many weeks to come; and what steps he is taking to ensure that this crop is not prevented from being sold owing to imports of foreign onions.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I am advised that this year's crop is expected to be larger than last year's, but that stocks of imported onions are lower than at this time last year. Under the arrangements announced at the beginning of this year, the open general licence for imports of onions was suspended on 1st August, and imports are subject to total prohibition as from 16th August until 30th November.

Mr. Renton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a great glut of homegrown onions, and does his reply mean that from 1st December onwards the difficulties of home producers in selling their crops are to be increased by unlimited imports of foreign onions?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am not prepared to give any undertaking as to what will happen after 30th November.