HC Deb 26 May 1954 vol 528 c402
49. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Food when the canned apricots and peaches, purchased under Section 550 of the Mutual Security Act, will be on sale in the shops; and what arrangements his Department is making with the trade to ensure that they will be sold to the public at a reasonable price.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Charles Hill)

About September. Imported canned peaches and apricots are still subject to price control.

Mr. Dodds

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, the last time he answered a question on this subject, he said that this was practically a gift? When the hon. Gentleman states that the tinned fruit is still price controlled, is it not a fact that this large quantity of tinned fruit has been given for next to nothing, and will some further steps be taken to see that the public get some benefit from this bargain?

Dr. Hill

The sterling expenditure involved is counted against the defence budget in this matter, and the prices which will be charged for the tinned fruit under existing price control will be those hitherto prevailing.

Mr. N. Macpherson

Will my hon. Friend make quite certain that the opportunity is not taken to introduce foreign goods at the expense of Commonwealth goods in this matter? Will he maintain the price of foreign goods at a level not less than the price of Commonwealth goods?

Dr. Hill

I will take note of my hon. Friend's point.