HC Deb 10 December 1962 vol 669 cc28-9
45. Mrs. Castle

asked the hon. Member for Holland with Boston, as Chairman of the Kitchen Committee, whether he will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of South African products which are at present being served in the Refreshment Rooms of the House of Commons.

Sir Herbert Butcher

Sliced pears of South African origin are now being purchased as an ingredient for fruit salad, and South African oranges are also bought at those seasons of the year when price and quality commend them. South African wines and liqueurs are available as shown on the wine list.

Mrs. Castle

While thanking the Chairman of the Kitchen Committee for that reply, may I ask whether he is not aware that he ought to be ashamed of it? [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Is he not aware that on 7th November last the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution by an overwhelming majority calling on all member States to boycott South African goods and calling on them also to refrain from any act likely to delay or hinder the implementation of this resolution? In view of that fact, is it not outrageous that in the Refreshment Rooms of the British House of Commons South African goods should still be served in open defiance of the request of the majority of the General Assembly of the United Nations?

Sir H. Butcher

The General Assembly of the United Nations did not send me a copy of that resolution, but we feel it right that in purchasing goods we should attach particular importance to the question of quality and price; otherwise we are in extreme difficulty.

Mr. Eden

Will my hon. Friend have no part whatever in any attempt to boycott South African goods and take whatever opportunity is open to him to demonstrate the importance to Britain of trade with South Africa?

Sir H. Butcher

We are the servants of the House, and people who do not like South African food need not eat it.

Mrs. Castle

Is this not a question whether or not we in the House of Commons believe in supporting the resolutions of the United Nations, and does not the ribald behaviour of hon. Members opposite prove that once again they are not supporters of the United Nations?

Mr. Speaker

If hon. Members wanted advice about support for the United Nations they probably would not consult the Chairman of the Kitchen Committee.