HC Deb 07 December 1961 vol 650 cc1523-4
24. Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a further statement concerning the recent Food and Agriculture Organisation Conference in Rome, giving in particular more details of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign and the $100 million fund for the disposal of food surpluses to the developing countries.

Mr. Soames

The conference reaffirmed its support for the fine work now being done by the Freedom from Hunger Campaign Committees. I will send my hon. Friend a copy of the Conference report on this item as soon as it is available.

The conference also passed a resolution proposing a World Food Programme to be run jointly by F.A.O. and the United Nations. It is designed to help less-developed countries by means of food surpluses, services and cash. This proposal is to be discussed by the United Nations next week. I am arranging for a copy of the resolution to be placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him to bear in mind the utmost importance of safeguarding our existing bilateral channels of trade for these products, so that they are not disturbed by any multilateral arrangements which may be arrived at at this forthcoming conference?

Mr. Soames

I agree with my hon. Friend that this is a matter which we must keep very much in mind when discussing this subject.

Mr. Jeger

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that a few weeks ago we were storing up dried milk in the event of radioactivity being harmful to liquid milk? Would it not be possible now to distribute that dried milk to the under-developed countries, since it is a perishable commodity and they will be able to use it whereas it will only go to waste if it is stored here?

Mr. Soames

No, Sir. We made the arrangements to ensure that, if the need arose, there would be sufficient dried milk. That was all.