HC Deb 06 December 1948 vol 459 cc2-3
2. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what agreement has been made with the Government of Siam for the export of rice to British territories in S.E. Asia.

Mr. Mayhew

No such agreement has been made, but the United Kingdom and Siam are both members of the International Emergency Food Committee, to which Siam makes her exportable surplus of rice available for allocation. His Majesty's Government arrange to purchase from Siam whatever is allocated by the I.E.F.C. to British territories in South-East Asia.

Mr. Gammans

In view of the virtual breakdown of Government in Burma, and the improbability of South-East Asia being able to get anything like the amount of rice they hope to get, will the Government see if any further rice can be obtained from Siam, otherwise there will be a serious shortage of food in Malaya and other parts of South-East Asia?

Mr. Mayhew

I think the best way of arranging these allocations is on the basis of need, through the I.E.F.C.

Mr. William Teeling

Is it not true that a delegation from Siam is due here today or tomorrow, and will the hon. Gentleman make sure that this is one of the subjects to be discussed?

Mr. Mayhew

I expect it will be, but that does not alter what I have just said.

Forward to