HC Deb 26 June 1958 vol 590 cc584-5
16. Mr. Russell

asked the President of the Board of Trade the quantity of bananas to be imported under quota from the dollar area; and to what extent the Governments of the West Indies were consulted before this arrangement was made.

Sir D. Eccles

The size of the quota has not yet been fixed. The West Indian Governments will be asked for their comments before this is done.

Mr. Russell

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that this is not the thin end of the wedge? Will he bear in mind the need for ensuring markets in this country for Commonwealth produce of this kind which does not compete with anything that is grown over here?

Sir D. Eccles

Subject to consultation, my intention is that the quota shall be very small in relation to the amount which we spent on bananas in 1957.

Mr. Blenkinsop

In future will the Minister consider consulting, at any rate, the new Federal Government, particularly in view of the expansion of banana production in many of the islands—and very good bananas, too?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes. I am not absolutely sure whether it is better to consult the individual Governments or the Federal Government.