HC Deb 11 February 1980 vol 978 c467W
Mr. Gregor MacKenzie

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received from The Wine and Spirit Association concerning the decision of producers of wine and spirits in Germany, France, Italy and Portugal to halt the bulk supply of such produce to the United Kingdom; and what reply he plans to send.

Mr. Peter Walker

We have had no reports of a decision by wine producing countries as described by the right hon. Member, or representations about it from The Wine and Spirit Association. It has, however, expressed its general concern about bottling at source in a memorandum it has recently submitted to me on problems in the wine sector generally and I look forward to discussing this with it later in the month.

Mr. Spriggs

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he has taken to secure the continued right to import wine in bulk; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Walker

Successive Governments have taken the view that the question of the place of bottling of wine should be a matter for commercial judgment and have opposed demands for mandatory bottling of wines at source. We have made it clear to the trade that we stand ready to help it as appropriate where it discovers evidence of steps in this direction which could warrant Government intervention.