HC Deb 20 January 1949 vol 460 cc320-1
31. Mr. Lennox-Boyd

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will give an assurance that horticultural growers will be consulted before any further agreements, relating to the import of Dutch vegetable products, are signed with the Dutch Government.

Mr. H. Wilson

Every endeavour is made to ensure that our negotiators are fully acquainted with the views of United Kingdom producers and that their position is taken into account within the general framework of the negotiations. It would, however, be quite out of the question for the Government to commit themselves to prior consultation, either with horticultural growers or with other groups of United Kingdom producers, before entering into agreements with other Governments.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while welcoming this agreement with Holland which shares so many problems with us at this moment, contact with the horticultural growers in England would have enabled certain aspects of this Treaty to be altered to help home producers without preventing an agreement at all?

Mr. Wilson

I am sure the hon. Gentleman will realise that in each bilateral trade negotiation there are hundreds, if not thousands, of commodities covered in trade on both sides. I am sure he will understand, from what he has said about the Netherlands, that in any trade negotiations it is essential to take some of the traditional exports of the country with whom we are dealing if we are to expect them to take some of our traditional exports as well.