HC Deb 27 May 1946 vol 423 cc828-9
69. Mr. Piratin

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India on what date Dr. Sjahrir, Prime Minister of the Indonesian Republic, offered 500,000 tons of rice to India; and whether, in view of India's need for rice, negotiations have now begun for the shipment of this rice to India in exchange for cotton textiles for the Indonesian Republic.

Mr. A. Henderson

Dr. Sjahrir's offer was made in a statement to a Press representative in Java early in April. I can assure the hon. Member that the possibility of procuring any supplies of rice which may be available in Java is being actively pursued by His Majesty's Government in conjunction with the Government of India and in consultation with the Netherlands Government.

Mr. Keeling

Would the Under-Secretary explain to the House the exact difference between " active pursuit " and any other kind of pursuit? If he cannot tell us that, will he please stop using this meaningless Civil Service jargon?

Mr. A. Henderson

I think that one expression is a little more expressive than another.