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New Zealand (Dairy Products)

Volume 478: debated on Monday 18 September 1950

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asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the dissatisfaction expressed in New Zealand by Ministers of the Crown and leaders of the dairy industry at the course of trade negotiations between the British and New Zealand Governments; and if he will send an official message to the Prime Minister of New Zealand assuring the people of the Dominion that this country means to pursue the policy of Imperial Preference.

Yes, Sir, but I would point out that agreement has now been reached on a formula which will ensure an uninterrupted supply of butter and cheese from New Zealand to the United Kingdom during the 1950–51 season. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply already given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food in answer to Question No. 1. From this he will see that it would be a misapprehension to suppose that any question of Imperial Preference arises.

Has the Prime Minister overlooked the statement by a Minister in the New Zealand Parliament, on 31st August, that New Zealand believes in Imperial Preference and wonders what the attitude of His Majesty's Government is? If there is any doubt should not the Prime Minister immediately remove it?

I do not think there is any doubt. At any rate, there are Ministers present this week discussing trade questions, and I could ask them.