HC Deb 08 March 1954 vol 524 c1730
33. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Food if he will specify the subjects which were discussed at his re cent official conferences in London with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Food of the Republic of Ireland; on what topics agreement was, and was not, reached; and if he will make a full and detailed statement on the actual and potential supplies of food from the Re public of Ireland to Britain.

Major Lloyd George

There was an exchange of views on the future arrangements for the trade in livestock and meat between the two countries after the importation of these products is handed back to private traders in July. The talks will be continued between officials this week. There is in general no restriction on food exports from the Republic of Ireland to this country. Next week I shall be giving information about these exports in reply to another Question by the hon. Member.

Mr. Hughes

Did the talks result in any kind of contract or understanding for a supply of food? Does the Minister realise that those citizens in this country who eat agricultural produce, including meat, butter and vegetables, would be greatly interested if such contracts were completed?

Major Lloyd George

Everybody appreciates the great importance of trade between the Irish Republic and this country, which is to the advantage of both countries, but under the 1953 Annex relating to the question of returning trade to private traders, we are to discuss with the Government of the Irish Republic the measures to be adopted, and detailed conversations between officials will be resumed this week.