HC Deb 01 May 1958 vol 587 c579
68. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the acreage of dried peas grown for canning before the war; what was the acreage for 1957; and what was the cost of imported dried peas in 1957.

Mr. Godber

Acreage figures for dried peas grown for canning are not available. The estimated total acreage of peas sown for harvesting dry averaged 19,200 acres in the three years 1937 to 1939 and in 1957 was about 78,400 acres. The c.i.f. value of all imported dried peas in 1957 was £3,918,000.

Mr. Baldwin

Does not my hon. Friend think that this is a lot of money to spend upon a commodity which can be well grown in this country? Would it not be wise to stop, by quota or otherwise, the importation of food which can be so well grown in Great Britain?

Mr. Godber

We should not lose sight of the fact that there is a very substantial tariff on peas, amounting to £7 10s. a ton on peas up to a value of £75 a ton. As the price is now well below that, it is a fairly substantial protection.