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Algerian Wine

Volume 466: debated on Monday 4 July 1949

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43.

asked the Minister of Food if, in view of the fact that no more wine is to bought by his Department, he will now state how much Algerian wine is at present held by his Department.

42.

asked the Minister of Food how much Algerian wine has been released from bond since last February.

I regret I can add nothing to the reply given by my right hon. Friend to the hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Hollis) on 21st March.

Has not the right hon. Lady's objection in the past to publishing the figures of stocks been based on the ground that it might prejudice negotiations for future purchases, and can she at least assure the House that the Government are not proposing to buy wine of this sort?

The hon. Gentleman would agree that publication would work both ways it would prejudice future sales. At present we are negotiating sales and are at a very delicate stage in the negotiations. It would be quite wrong to disclose stocks now.

Would not the right hon. Lady agree that, because no one can drink it, the proper use of this wine in future is for cooking purposes in order to make the small amount of food that is available rather more palatable?