HC Deb 09 March 1949 vol 462 cc1181-2
45. Mr. Edelman

asked the Minister of Food what arrangements he has concluded for the importation of French meat into Britain.

The Minister of Food (Mr. Strachey)

Canned and open pack cooked meats are already being imported into this country from France by private traders under licence, but our health regulations prevent imports of carcase meat at present. We shall soon be having talks with the French Authorities to try to solve this difficulty.

Mr. Edelman

While welcoming the importation of canned meat from France, may I ask my right hon. Friend if he will bear in mind that it is much more economical to import the carcase meat which the French wish to provide under their Four-Year Plan? Will he also resist any tendentious propaganda by special interests to prevent French meat being sent to this country?

Mr. Strachey

Certainly; we are very anxious to arrange what would be a valuable interchange of goods in this respect.

Mr. Baldwin

Before he gives any licence for the importation of carcase meat from the Continent, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the importance of making quite sure that he has considered the risk of foot-and-mouth disease being imported into this country from the Continent, where it is so prevalent?

Mr. Strachey

That, of course, is a consideration which we have in mind.

Captain John Crowder

Can the Minister say whether any arrangements are being made to import fresh pork from France, as I understood there were to be some arrangements?

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir. No arrangements have been come to other than those I have referred to here.