HC Deb 13 December 1960 vol 632 c191
15. Mr. Mathew

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Committee of Experts on Wines and Spirits, set up by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, intends to discuss at its next meeting in April, 1961, the definition and methods of production of whisky and gin, and that the decisions taken by the Committee are likely to result in changes of legislation and, perhaps, of customs duties in many European countries to which the United Kingdom exports these products; and whether he will therefore arrange that the United Kingdom should reconsider its refusal to take part in the work of this Committee.

Mr. Erroll

I understand that detailed agenda for the April meeting have not yet been settled. When they come to hand, I will consider whether any useful purpose would be served by sending an expert to take part in the meeting.

Mr. Mathew

My estimation is that spirits, including whisky and gin, will be discussed at this meeting. If that is so, will my right hon. Friend ensure that a representative to protect the interests of this important section of the British export trade is present at the meeting?

Mr. Erroll

As I have said, we should like to see the agenda first.