HC Deb 19 September 1950 vol 478 cc208-9W
Mr. Studholme

asked the Minister of Food how many tons of apples for cider and how many gallons of cider were imported into this country for the 1949 season; and whether any are to be imported this season.

Mr. Webb

Except for 99.2 tons imported from the Channel Islands, no apples for cider were imported between 1st August, 1949, and 31st July, 1950; 1,266,000 gallons of cider (including perry) were imported during that period. I cannot say what imports, if any, will be made during the coming season. Cider may be imported under open general licence and it is usual for some to be brought in, mostly between January and April, for blending with English cider. Cider apples may only be imported under specific import licence. No applications for licences have so far been made.

Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Food if he will take action at once to prevent the total loss of several thousand tons of good apples that were blown off the trees in Kent during the recent storms.

Mr. Webb

Apples which are blown off trees are generally bruised and in the nature of things are not readily marketable at a time when plentiful supplies of good apples are being harvested. I am not clear how far the hon. Member would desire me to interfere with the private trade in this matter, but if he has any ideas of ways in which I could helpfully intervene I shall be glad to consider them.