HC Deb 04 December 1919 vol 122 cc600-1W

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that no new dried fruit has yet been delivered in Cardiff and South Wales. and, as time is now so short, does he propose to give special facilities for immediate delivery, otherwise people in South Wales will be deprived of their fruit for Christmas; whether he is aware that both wholesalers and large retailers are cancelling their orders owing to the delay and the uncertainty of obtaining the fruit in time for the season's trade, and that the distributors say that their difficulty is to obtain permits from the authorities to dispatch the goods; and whether he proposes to take any action?


I am informed that dried fruits of the new season's crop were delivered in Cardiff and South Wales more than a week ago, although owing to transport difficulties the actual quantities delivered are not as large as might be desired. No notification of the cancellation of orders, either by wholesalers or retailers, in the area mentioned has been received by my Department, nor have any special permits to dispatch dried fruits been asked for. I understand that in the case of one firm some difficulty arose in connection with the clearance of goods through the Customs, but that this has now been overcome. On the general question, I may say that a special allowance has been made to wholesale dealers to encourage them to deliver dried fruits by road transport; further, that the railway companies have been requested to give preferential treatment in the carriage of dried fruits. Every possible step is being taken to overcome the transport difficulties, with the result that there has already been a very considerable improvement in deliveries.