HC Deb 27 July 1953 vol 518 cc885-6
44. Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand has officially said that his Government had authorised the Meat Producers Board to discuss, when in London, a meat purchase contract with his Department to take the place of the present seven-year contract which expires in September, 1955; and whether he will give an assurance that no agreement will be reached which will tie the hands of private traders after the expiry of the present contract.

Major Lloyd George

When the occasion arises, I will certainly keep in mind the consideration mentioned by my hon. Friend.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Are we to understand that the occasion has not yet arisen?

Major Lloyd George

As the hon. Gentleman knows, the existing agreement ends in 1955. We are now negotiating prices up to 1954, so there are two years before it comes to an end.

Mr. Manuel

Will the Minister make sure that when these discussions are taking place with the Prime Minister of New Zealand he will do nothing to jeopardise the supply of meat coming to this country? Does he not agree that past experience has proved that a long-term agreement based on bulk purchase at a reasonable price is the best for this country?

Major Lloyd George

I would not agree with the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary, though I certainly support the first part of it.