HC Deb 17 April 1934 vol 288 c870
15. Sir H. CROFT

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, out of a total importation of beef from all countries in the first two months of 1934, amounting to 1,913,459 cwts., 182,317 cwts. are shown in the trade returns as having come from foreign countries with which we have concluded no recent trade agreements; and, in view of the continued depression of the livestock industry in this country, will he take steps by restricting imports to protect that industry against this competition from countries that are extending to us no concessions?


I am aware of the figures to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers. The restrictions on the importation of foreign beef provided for in the Ottawa Agreements and the emergency arrangements apply equally to all the foreign countries concerned, and my right hon. Friend is not at present prepared to depart from that principle.


In view of the fact that there is no reason why action should not be taken in the case of foreign countries who do not come within an agreement, cannot we have some hope that early action will be taken?


I am not sure what foreign countries the hon. and gallant Member has in mind, but with at least one of them to which he refers, trade negotiations are being actually conducted at the present moment.