HC Deb 07 April 1952 vol 498 c185W
105. Mr. Osborne

asked the Secretary for Overseas Trade, as representing the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, if he will consult with the United States Government to widen the terms of reference of the International Materials Conference to enable plans to be considered for the orderly marketing of strategic stockpiles no longer required, and to stabilise commodity prices, once the urgency of rearmament is passed.

Mr. Hopkinson

The disposal of stockpiles is unlikely to become an issue in the near future. The Government fully appreciates the desirability of keeping commodity prices stable at reasonable levels. This has been the subject of much international discussion; and when particular commodities present problems, there are arrangements for consultation between the countries concerned. On all these matters we are working very closely with the U.S. authorities.

The primary function of the International Materials Conference is the allocation of scarce materials on which it is doing most valuable work. I doubt whether it is desirable to vary its terms of reference, particularly as they do not exclude discussion of price stabilisation.

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