HC Deb 21 March 1972 vol 833 cc1331-2
20. Mr. John Wells

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has had from the Sussex Cattle Breeders Society about exporting cattle to France; and what reply he has sent.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

My right hon. Friend has received letters on this subject both from the society and from my hon. Friend himself, complaining about the restrictions placed by France on the establishment of new breeds.

These restrictions are part of the general French policy on cattle breeding and in no way discriminate against the United Kingdom. However, I am consulting our Embassy in Paris as to whether it can help. I shall be replying similarly to the society.

Mr. Wells

Is my hon. Friend aware that the French were very happy to receive these cattle and then changed their minds? In view of my right hon. Friend's liberalisation policy of receiving European cattle into this country, is it not about time that the French behaved like good Europeans?

Mr. Stodart

Our policy of liberalisation benefits our own livestock industry most. I hope very much that the efforts at the Paris salon, which have been splendid on the whole, will help to let the French see the advantages of our breeds.

Mr. Mackie

Does the Minister think that our Ambassador in France, who when Minister of Agriculture kept out French cattle from this country for 10 years, will have a lot of influence now in France?

Mr. Stodart

I think so. I realise with what interest the hon. Gentleman speaks.

Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that a great many Sussex breeders are keenly interested in the action that he is taking in this matter?

Mr. Stodart

I am certain that if the Sussex breed will put on as good a show as the Galloway breed, it will do very well.