§ 8. Mr. Loyden
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about the effect on the United Kingdom canned meat industry of the import of canned meat from Poland.
§ Mr. Loyden
Will the Minister investigate a claim made by a tinned meat factory in my constituency that cheap imports of tinned meat from Poland must be heavily subsidised to be as competitive as they are? The company is not afraid of competition, but this is tantamount to unfair competition and needs investigation to protect what remains of the British tinned industry and jobs in my constituency.
§ Mr. Curry
The hon. Gentleman was courteous enough to let me know that he has a constituency interest, and my officials have already been in touch with the firm of Parrish and Fenn in his constituency. Some limited Polish imports, which benefit from special generalised system of preferences concessions, are coming into this country at the moment. That has enabled an element of the benefit to be passed back to the Polish producers. That said, however, Polish exports to this country are down severely because the Polish Government are hard up and are no longer paying export subsidies—imports are down 40 per cent. this year compared with last. I shall ask my officials to verify the specific complaints with the company and we shall follow those up.
§ Mr. John Marshall
Will my hon. Friend have regard to the interests of the consumer rather than paying attention to protectionist devices and will he heed the good sense of the British housewife, who can look after herself?