§ 4. Mr. Russell
asked the Minister of Food why there has been a decline in the proportion by value of foodstuffs obtained from Empire countries as com pared with foreign; and what steps he is taking to reverse this trend.
§ Mr. F. Willey
Although the proportion by value of imports of foodstuffs from the Commonwealth and the Irish Republic was lower in 1950 than in 1949, the proportion was higher in 1948, 1949 and 1950 than in 1947 and higher than pre-war. The facts, therefore, do not support the hon. Member's suggestion. We are already buying all the essential foodstuffs that the Commonwealth countries can send us and we are doing all we can to encourage them to send us more.