HC Deb 25 July 1963 vol 681 cc1756-7
15. Mr. Bullard

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is proposing any special measures to persuade or compel exporters of barley to this country not to ship excessive quantities in the months immediately following the home harvest.

Mr. Erroll

We have drawn the attention of our principal overseas suppliers to the need to exercise restraint in the sale of cereals to the United Kingdom in the coming year to avoid depressing prices unduly. The Government will continue to watch the situation and keep in touch with our suppliers.

Mr. Bullard

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that there are reports that barley, particularly French barley, is due to come here shortly at a very low price? While we are glad to have it, from some points of view, may I ask my right hon. Friend to balance the advantages against the fact that there is a grave danger of running up the deficiency payments to a high figure?

Mr. Erroll

I have seen reports of French barley being offered at lower prices. We have made strong representations to the French Embassy and we are now awaiting its reply. In this matter we must remember that we have an important and useful export trade in barley, so we do not want to do anything which might have the effect of damaging that.

Mr. Kimball

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the very considerable switch that there has been from growing malting barleys to growing feeding barleys because of the increased yield, and will he do nothing that will make it impossible for the maltsters to import the barleys they need, even if it means going above the gentleman's agreement of 10 per cent.?

Mr. Erroll

I shall certainly keep that point in mind, although without commitment today.

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