HC Deb 23 March 1961 vol 637 cc552-3
6. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will now make a statement on the calling of a conference of all the barley exporting countries.

Mr. Soames

Though at first sight attractive, a conference limited to barley-exporting nations would be open to obvious objections of private fixing and the like. So importing countries as well as exporting countries would have to participate. Moreover, the conference would have to cover other feed grains as well as barley. It would, in my view, be fruitless to press for such a conference unless there was a reasonable prospect of a successful outcome. The propects of this appear no better now than on previous occasions when this suggestion has been considered.

Mr. de Freitas

Although the weather and the Price Review have gone some way towards solving or mitigating our own domestic problem, is there not still a formidable world problem in barley? If the Minister will not call such a conference, what is he going to do about it?

Mr. Soames

We have been living and working with a free coarse grain trade for many years, and we consider that this is the right way to proceed.

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