HC Deb 16 November 1939 vol 353 cc833-4W
Mr. R. Morgan

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that in spite of the fact that officially American apples and pears can be imported without restrictions, firms who have made arrangements in the normal course of their business are now being refused dollars to complete their transactions; and what action he proposes taking to protect their position in this matter?

Captain Plugge

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the importation of American apples and pears is officially permitted; and whether he will make arrangements to secure that firms who have already committed themselves and/or opened credits are given facilities for completing purchases?

Mr. Stanley

The Import of Goods (Prohibition) (No. 8) Order, 1939, dated 15th November, prohibits the importation into the United Kingdom of apples and pears despatched on or after the 20th November except under licence issued by the Board of Trade. The Board of Trade have issued an open general licence authorising, until further notice, the importation of these goods from Empire countries, but arrangements are being made with the Canadian Government for the limitation of the shipments of apples during the remainder of the current season. No licences will be issued for the time being for imports from other countries.

Recently, while these arrangements were under consideration, banks were warned to refrain for the time being from granting foreign exchange for the purchase of apples and pears which were unlikely to be shipped before these restrictions came into force; but exchange will, of course, be granted in respect of goods despatched to the United Kingdom before the 20th of this month.