HC Deb 05 February 1962 vol 653 cc8-9
9. Mr. Peart

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the number of agricultural attachés representing the United Kingdom in European countries together with the countries in which they are stationed.

Mr. Soames

Two, Sir. There is an agricultural and food attaché in France, and another, based in Copenhagen, covers Denmark and the Netherlands and also reports on agricultural and food developments in Western Germany.

Mr. Peart

Will the Minister not agree that this is an unsatisfactory position? If we are to negotiate, and the Government know that we are negotiating for a European settlement one way or the other, is it not important that Her Majesty's Government should be informed and that we should have mare agricultural attachés conveying information from Europe to this country?

Mr. Soames

What is important, I think, is not the number of agricultural attachés that we have, but that we have access to all the information we require, and this we consider to be the situation at present.