HC Deb 19 April 1934 vol 288 cc1118-9

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can make any statement as to the negotiations which are now proceeding with a view to re-adjusting the proportions of boned beef imported from foreign countries?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for East Dorset (Mr. Hall-Caine) on the 5th February.

41. Dr. HOWITT

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether in view of the impending termination of the agreement with regard to meat reached at Ottawa, he will consider calling a conference of representatives of the Dominions with a view to reaching a new arrangement satisfactory to all parties?

The Secretary of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. J. H. Thomas)

The situation as regards meat is under consideration, and I am not in a position to make any statement at present.


In the negotiations with the Australian Government will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the fact that the Australian Government have increased their duties against British manufactured goods in five cases?


But they have reduced them in 149 cases.

27. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE (for Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS)

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the imports of beef in the March quarter of this year were higher than in the corresponding quarters of each of the last three years and, under these circumstances, can he state when the restriction of the imports of beef will commence to operate?


Imports of beef from foreign sources in the March quarter of this year were lower than in the corresponding quarter of 1932 and 1933 by about 7 per cent. and 2 per cent., respectively. Imports from all sources were about 5 per cent. lower than in the corresponding quarter of 1931, and 3 per cent. and 7 per cent. higher than in the corresponding quarter of 1932 and 1933, respectively. The increases in imports of beef from all sources compared with the corresponding quarter of 1932 and 1933, are entirely attributable to larger supplies from Empire countries. With regard to the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries on 19th March.

Lieut-Colonel HENEAGE

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether it is impossible to hasten the time when these restrictions will be brought into force?


My hon. Friend knows better than almost anybody else that the agreements in respect to beef run out in the summer of this year.


How long does the hon. Gentleman think it will be before we stop imports altogether?

Vice-Admiral TAYLOR

Would it not be better to restrict foreign imports in the interests of the Dominions?