HC Deb 20 October 1952 vol 505 cc692-3
46. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Food why the new contract with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics provides only for the delivery of 200,000 tons of grain, whereas the previous trade agreement provided for 1,000,000 tons of grain; and what steps he has taken to secure additional grain from other sources.

Major Lloyd George

We bought all that the Russians were prepared to offer at this stage. The imports required to maintain the feedingstuffs ration pool are drawn from many sources and I have no reason to believe that we shall not be able to procure them.

Mr. Willey

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman agree that official publications of his Ministry indicated in the summer that it was anticipated that we should get additional supplies of grain from Russia in the forthcoming few weeks, but that this has not materialised? Can he assure the House that additional supplies will not involve dollars?

Major Lloyd George

There are many sources, as the hon. Gentleman knows, from which we can get supplies of coarse grains and feedingstuffs and, naturally, we would go to those where the currency is easier.

Mr. Bottomley

Will the Minister tell us when these trade negotiations commenced?

Major Lloyd George

I am not quite sure of the date, but I think they were from the beginning of July, or something like that.