HC Deb 10 July 1952 vol 503 cc1507-8
36. Mr. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will request the United States Government to include Cuban sugar and Canadian wheat in the grants in aid to be received under the Mutual Security Act; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of State for Economic Affairs (Sir Arthur Salter)

The 300 million dollar economic aid from the Mutual Administration has already been fully committed and over 200 million dollars of the money has been recovered. There is no question, therefore, of including additional items such as sugar or wheat. My right hon. Friend does not intend to make a further statement at present.

Mr. Osborne

As there are about 1½ million tons of unsaleable sugar in Cuba and we still have rationing over here, would the Minister bear it in mind in future so that the surplus could be brought to this country and we could then end sugar and sweet rationing?

Sir A. Salter

If my hon. Friend is thinking of appropriations in respect of a later year, say 1952–53, I would point out that the appropriations have only just reached their final legislative stage in America and that we do not yet know the views of the American administration as to which items are eligible. However, I will bear in mind what my hon. Friend says.

Mr. Dodds

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the sugar is there now and that in this austerity period housewives would like it now? Is he further aware that the sugar, which could be sold for sterling to be spent in this country, is available for just over 1d. a 1b.? Will he have a word with the President of the Board of Trade and help to get a new pact?

Sir A. Salter

As I have pointed out, the money in respect of this year has already been fully committed. There is no margin left for use for this purpose.

Mr. Dodds

But will the right hon. Gentleman have a word with his right hon. Friend and try to get a new pact now for sterling, not for this money?