HC Deb 19 June 1968 vol 766 cc1102-3
51. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will now limit the present dumping of foreign dairy products on the British market.

Mr. John Mackie

I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given to the hon. Members for Torrington (Mr. Peter Mills) and for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) on 15th May last. We are actively considering the representations that have been received but I cannot say anything further at present. —[Vol. 764, c. 1199 and 245–6.]

Mr. Hastings

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, apart from the subsidised imports of butter, the imports of milk products and cheese are at such a level that, without exaggeration, they are threatening the complete collapse of the dairy products market? The time has arrived when something must be done about this.

Mr. Mackie

We appreciate the situation. Although the figures for this month are greater than they have been, the overall percentages of imports against our own production have been roughly the same year in and year out. We have the situation very much in mind. It has arisen just recently. We would rather take the right action than hasty action.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the E.E.C. is paying a subsidy of about 600 per cent. on butter? If this is not dumping, what on earth is?

Mr. Mackie

Anti-dumping legislation is the concern of the Board of Trade. If the hon. Gentleman puts down a Question to the Board of Trade, it will deal with it.

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