HC Deb 20 February 1954 vol 689 cc239-40W
Sir G. Wills

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the outcome of his recent consultations with the supplying countries over meat imports; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames

At the discussions with overseas suppliers of meat on a market-sharing arrangement, which ended on 7th February, agreement could not be reached on certain matters centring on the level of imports of beef and veal and mutton and lamb appropriate for 1964–65. Our proposals for the voluntary restrictions of exports from other countries to this market, coupled with standard quantity arrangements for fat-stock at home, which would need to be discussed at the Annual Review already in progress, cannot therefore be introduced for the coming fatstock year. The Government will continue its efforts to secure comprehensive and satisfactory arrangements on these lines and will participate in the work of the G.A.T.T. Meat Group. Meanwhile, we are seeking the co-operation of our overseas suppliers in co-ordinating the level and phasing of supplies to the U.K. market in the interest of maintaining market stability in the coming months.