asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention bus been drawn to large crops of fruit expected by British growers this year; and whether he will prepare plans to prevent the financial loss and wastage that occurred last year through the market being glutted by foreign fruit and fruit pulp?
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether in view of the fact that there is every likelihood of a heavy black currant harvest this year, he will take steps to prevent the dumping of foreign black currants which occurred last year to the detriment of the home growers?
I am aware that prospects are good for certain fruit crops, including black currants. Except for the protection of our own crops from disease, I have no power to restrict or prohibit the importation of fruit or fruit pulp, but effective help will be forthcoming under the Agricultural Marketing Bill when it becomes law and a producers' board is formed. Moreover, a Bill is about to be introduced in another place to enable a standardisation scheme under the National Mark to be applied to jam made from home-grown fruit; the National Mark scheme for canned fruit has recently been extended, and it is hoped that next year the scheme will be further extended to cover also plums and bottled fruits.
Commander Sir BOLTON EYRES MONSELL:30.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has discussed with fruit growers any proposals to enable the public to distinguish between jam made from home-grown fruit and jam made from foreign fruit?
An investigation is being carried out by my Department into the best method of operating a National Mark scheme for jam if and when the necessary legislation, which is being introduced in another place, is passed. When the investigation is completed, proposals will be discussed in the ordinary way not only with growers but with other interests concerned.
Yes, I am aware of that fact, and we have looked into the matter with great care and with the best good will. The difficulty, I understand, is as to how it could be administered so as to prove effective. That is the matter which stands in the way.