HC Deb 01 August 1951 vol 491 cc1419-20
1. Mr. Hurd

asked the Lord Privy Seal if, in view of the desirability of reestablishing normal trading relations with Canada, he will consult with timber importers on the appropriate date for restoring the free enterprise purchase of softwood in Canada.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Stokes)

The reasons which decided the Government to maintain public buying of softwood from Canada still exist, and until I am satisfied that they have changed in such a way as to make private purchase desirable there would be no purpose in the suggested consultations.

Mr. Hurd

Will the right hon. Gentleman apply his business mind to this matter and break the ice? Apart from the feelings of the Canadians, the rigid system of State purchasing of timber in Canada is delaying a fall in timber prices in Scandinavia and elsewhere.

Mr. Stokes

Yes, that may be, but there are other considerations, not the least important of which is the necessity for an adequate stockpile.