HC Deb 04 December 1946 vol 431 cc83-4W
85. Mr. Rees-Williams

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that a Singapore importer was recently refused permission to ship 30,000 tons of Brazilian rice to Mayala at a price which would have enabled it to be sold between 40 and 50 cents a kati, and that other importers who have received offers of rice from overseas have been similarly refused permission to import it; and what is the reason for this action by His Majesty's Government.

Mr. Creech Jones

I am aware of the particular case of the proposed transaction of 30,000 tons of rice to which my hon. Friend refers, and there may have been other cases of the same sort. In the specific case referred to permission to import this quantity into Malaya was not granted because, after a full investigation, it was apparent that physical stocks did not exist. Even had the stocks existed, His Majesty's Government could not have made them available for purchase through commercial channels as the whole of the Brazilian exportable surplus of rice for this year has already been allocated by the International Emergency Food Council and contracted for by the Ministry of Food on behalf of, amongst other territories, Malaya.