HC Deb 26 January 1948 vol 446 cc83-4W
Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Minister of Food why, after refusing to purchase Christmas puddings in Australia at the beginning of the packing season, his Department, when the available supplies of tinplate had been used for other products, intimated that they were in the market for these puddings, but put forward a different specification from that used by the leading Australian packers; and if he will take steps to ensure that such Dominion suppliers of foodstuffs are not given the impression that they are being regarded by his Department as stop-gap sources.

Mr. Strachey

We decided not to import Christmas puddings from Australia in 1947, because we needed the high percentage of dried fruit contained in them as such rather than in manufactured goods. But it was afterwards agreed that where Christmas puddings were already packed, or in process of being packed, import licences would be approved, as this would not affect dried fruit supplies for this country. The importers were requested to obtain a guarantee from the Australian manufacturers that the Australian Christmas puddings would conform to the standard applicable to Christmas puddings manufactured in Great Britain. It has been fully made clear to Commonwealth countries that we need all the food that they can supply, in so far as our currency position permits us to pay for it.