§ 53. Mr. Delargy
asked the President of the Board of Trade what regulations there are discriminating against the import of tomatoes and tomato products from Europe into the United Kingdom, as between the various producing countries; in respect of what countries licences are normally granted; in respect of what countries licences are normally refused, and for what reasons; and, in particular, to what amount licences have been granted in the last 12 months, to the nearest convenient date, for the import of tomatoes and tomato products from Bulgaria, and to what amount they have been refused.
Fresh tomatoes and tomato products from Western Europe are admissible under open general licence. Specific licences for canned and bottled tomatoes are issued under a single quota covering imports from any of the countries in this group. As to Eastern Europe specific licences are required for the import of any of these goods. We are prepared to consider applications from any country for imports of tomato puree; the import of other products from particular countries are licensed in accordance with quotas established under trade agreements. No 1969 licences for Bulgarian tomatoes and tomato products have been issued in the 12 months to the end of June and I regret that information about the refusals of licences is not available.
§ Mr. Delargy
Would the Minister inform the House how many applications for these imports he has received from Bulgaria during those 12 months?
No, I am afraid I cannot do that. I have said that none was given and I said in the answer that unfortunately we have no record of the number of refusals.
If we had to organise our work specifically in order to answer every conceivable question which could be asked we should have to have a staff two or three times as big as that which we have at present.