HC Deb 01 July 1957 vol 572 cc683-4
30. Mr. Champion

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in a White Paper or in some other form the terms of the agreements arrived at with Commonwealth countries on the marketing of agricultural produce; and if he will also give the terms of the assurances given to Denmark in this connection.

Mr. Amory

The information for which the hon. Member asks has already been published either in White Papers or otherwise.

31. Mr. Champion

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his production policy for British agriculture in the light of the agreements recently made with certain Commonwealth countries and the assurances given to Denmark.

Mr. Amory

The Governments agricultural production policy is set out in the White Paper on the Annual Review and Determination of Guarantees, 1957, and the recent agreements with the Governments of Australia and New Zealand and the assurances given to Denmark do not call for any change.

Mr. Champion

Having regard to the fact that the Agreement with New Zealand, for example, states that The two Governments will in each year exchange statements of agricultural production trends; and each will give full weight to the views of the other in the formulation of their production, marketing and import policies relating to agriculture does it not mean that the right hon. Gentleman is not being fair with these Governments when he says that the policy of this Government in relation to production will not change in any way?

Mr. Amory

No; I do not think that it calls for any change in the policy as stated in the White Paper. We have always taken into consideration the viewpoints of the Commonwealth countries before we have taken our decisions each year. What we have done in this Agreement is to confirm that and make rather more formal arrangements for doing so.

Major Legge-Bourke

I appreciate that the danger may not yet come to a head, but would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that, whatever may have been agreed with members of the Commonwealth as regards agricultural production in this country, if the Messina Powers' new proposals bear fruit, they may well result in our policy being completely "queered"?

Mr. Amory

I will bear that and many other matters in these difficult questions in mind.