HC Deb 24 February 1965 vol 707 cc119-20W
Mr. Alan Williams

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the import arrangements for butter for the year beginning 1st April.

Mr. Jay

The Government have decided to continue the quota system for imports of butter for a further 12 months, beginning 1st April, 1965. Stocks in this country are considerably higher than a year ago, and, given normal weather, European butter production is expected to show some improvement. Basic quotas will remain at 420,000 tons, divided amongst supplying countries in the same proportions as this year. In addition 39,000 tons are being authorised for delivery in the period April-November from countries with basic quotas who have estimated that they may have such additional butter. Consideration will be given to the issue of further authorisations in the course of the year in the light of the supply situation and the price of butter. New Zealand and Australia, whose heaviest shipments come in the period December-March, will retain their right to send their proportionate share of total permitted imports. The intention of these arrangements is to encourage a reduction in butter prices.

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