HC Deb 02 November 1966 vol 735 cc445-6
20. Sir John Rodgers

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will give an undertaking that the House will have an opportunity of discussing the proposals of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development for the international cocoa stabilisation scheme before Her Majesty's Government enters into any firm commitment.

Mr. Hoy

If, as I hope, a satisfactory international cocoa agreement can be negotiated, the text would be laid on the Table in the usual way.

Sir J. Rodgers

While I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that Answer, is he aware that the cocoa trade is quite willing to co-operate with the stabilisation scheme if producer and consumer countries so decide, but at the same time it believes that to rationalise cocoa-growing, as has been done in rubber and tea, will be a much better method than that put forward by U.N.C.T.A.D., and that to maintain prices artificially at the so-called remunerative price will encourage over-production and do nothing to encourage further consumption of cocoa?

Mr. Hoy

I am grateful to the hon. Member for the first part of his supplementary question. This is a matter of getting agreement as between producer countries and those like ourselves who import. There is a substantial hope that we shall be able to reach agreement, and if we can do that it will be of benefit to both of us.