HC Deb 30 April 1969 vol 782 cc1423-4
26. Mr. Bagier

asked the President of the Board of Trade when the apple import quota licence allocation was last reviewed; and when he intends further to review the allocation.

Mr. Dell

Apple licences were last reallocated before the quota period beginning 1st July, 1967. I have decided to reallocate licences in time for the quota period beginning 1st July this year. Notices to importers giving the details of reallocation and inviting applications were issued yesterday. I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Library.

Mr. Bagier

Would my hon. Friend not agree that the reallocation in 1967 was looked on as a radical reallocation? What new factors have arisen, or new representations been made to him, to make him look at this so soon after that reallocation?

Mr. Dell

The 1967 reallocation may have been radical in terms of practical stability on the basis of the issue of licences since 1951, with some changes but very few; it certainly was not radical in any other sense. Since we have to have this quota system, it is necessary to try to bring the quota allocation into some sort of line with the way in which the trade could have developed in the absence of the quota system.

Mr. John Wells

Can the hon. Gentleman assure us that the quotas are being given to bona fide traders and not to "mushroom" operators who have no substantial existing trade in apples and pears?

Mr. Dell

The qualifications for the issue of licences are explained in the notice to importers to which I have referred, and I suggest that the hon. Gentleman examines it.