HC Deb 26 April 1950 vol 474 c954
50. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Food what were the details of the offer recently made by the Eireann Government to supply cream to this country; why he refused it; and if he will permit private individuals and firms to import Irish cream.

The Minister of Food (Mr. Maurice Webb)

This offer was in general terms, and no details were discussed. On the second and third parts of the Question, I should like to refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Wembley, North (Wing-Commander Bullus) on 24th April,

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In amplification of that reply, can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the basis of the refusal to permit this importation on private account, in view of the fact that these other luxury products are now freely imported?

Mr. Webb

There arc two considerations. First of all, we would like the Irish to offer us their excess milk in the form of butter rather than cream, and we would take all their butter. The second consideration is that we want to get our own cream industry going again. As a result of the talks last week I think we can get a large part of it—or, if not a large part, some part of it—in operation in a few weeks' time. I would rather do that and consider the Irish question later.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Does that answer mean that the right hon. Gentleman anticipates being able to announce trading in cream by British producers?

Mr. Webb

Yes, in some parts of the country in the course of the next few weeks.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

What British housewives did the Minister canvass to find out whether they would resent the importation of cream?