HC Deb 08 May 1950 vol 475 cc10-1W
85. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the great quantity of plums grown in Kent in 1949 that it did not pay the farmers to pick off the trees; and what steps he proposes to take to enable the farmers to dispose of their crops this year.

Mr. F. Willey

My information is that there was no abnormal waste of plums last year and that the total supplies were not above average. As the hon. Member will have seen from the statement published in the OFFICIAL REPORT on 29th March, imports of plums this year will be limited during our main production season.

Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Food if he will give the total quantity of plums imported in 1949 from all countries other than the Empire, either fresh, tinned, bottled or preserved; and what arrangements he has made for importing such plums this year.

Mr. Webb

Thirteen thousand three hundred and twenty-six tons of plums of all kinds (excluding prunes) were imported from all sources other than Commonwealth countries in 1949. This quantity does not include imports of unsweetened preserved plums (other than dried), plum pulp and frozen plums, details of which are not available in the Trade and Navigation Accounts.

Imports of fresh plums and certain processed kinds are now permitted under open general licence from all countries except Eastern Europe and a few other countries excluded for balance of payments reasons. The open general licence for fresh plums will, however, be suspended from 16th July to 30th September; from 16th July until 15th August imports will be limited to 6,000 tons from all sources and from that date until 30tb September they will be entirely prohibited. These arrangements are, however, subject to review in the light of the size of the home crop.