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Commonwealth Producers (Contracts)

Volume 478: debated on Monday 18 September 1950

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1.

asked the Minister of Food how far it is his Department's practice when making bulk purchase contracts for butter, cheese and other foodstuffs to offer preferential prices to producers in the British Commonwealth and Empire.

I am always anxious to get as much as I can of these commodities from Commonwealth producers, and, in general, I am taking all that they can send. The question of giving any form of preference under these contracts to Commonwealth producers does not, however, arise because I am still bound to obtain as much as I can of these commodities at reasonable prices from all sources, and in any case bulk purchase contracts must be based primarily on commercial considerations.

Will the Minister give an assurance that he is willing to pay to the Dominions prices at least as good as those he pays to foreign countries, and that he is not trying to trade on the good will and loyalty of Dominion producers?

I am not trying to trade on the good will of anybody. I am trying to get prices that are favourable to us and to them in every circumstance.