HC Deb 07 November 1960 vol 629 c641
32. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to avoid wastage of this year's apple crop.

Mr. Soames

This must be the responsibility of producers and the trade who, I hope, will do all they can to distribute the maximum quantity and make full use of the storage facilities available. There are also a number of alternative outlets for apples other than the fresh fruit market.

Mr. Willey

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his exhortation, but he has a responsibility here. The Government took action when we were in difficulties over butter. Will not he assure the House that he will use his good offices to see that we get an orderly element in the apple market and do not suffer substantial physical losses?

Mr. Soames

I believe that this has been a record year for dessert apples, with about 310,000 tons—more than has ever been produced before. That is bound to bring difficulties with it, but it is for the trade and the producers to distribute apples, and not for the Government.