HL Deb 09 March 1943 vol 126 cc530-1

My Lords, I beg to ask the other question standing in my name.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government, whether their attention has been drawn to reports that the Australian Minister of Commerce foreshadows an early conference, with attendance by representatives of New Zealand and South Africa, to consider the extended collective purchase of their wool clips; whether they will give assurance that should such conference be arranged, opportunity will be sought to secure appropriate British representation, and for this to include responsible British wool trade associations.]


My Lords, as my noble friend Lord Portal has to be away from the House on Government business I have been asked to reply to this question. I assume that my noble friend is referring to a report which appeared in the Press here in December last. This foreshadowed the holding of a conference of wool growers of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to consider post-war marketing problems. If this suggestion is proceeded with the precise scope of the conference and the question whether it will be useful to invite also the representation of consuming interests would, of course, be matters for the convening country to consider in the first instance.


My Lords, arising out of that reply I would ask leave to express my disappointment that His Majesty's Government, who are so largely interested in the very big stocks of wool they hold, will not be in a position, according to the reply we have been given, to insist on participation in any such conference affecting the wool owned by them. I must tell my noble friend that I hope to raise this matter in the very near future.