asked the Minister of Food whether any decision has yet been reached about the purchase of surplus butter from the United States of America; what price is to be paid; and what dollar payment is involved.
The question whether butter could be supplied to the United Kingdom under Section 550 of the Mutual Security Act is being considered in consultation with the United States Government. I cannot yet forecast what prices would be paid if any business took place, but no dollar payment would, in any case, be involved since goods obtained under the provisions of Section 550 of the Mutual Security Act are paid for in sterling, which would be applied in relief of the United Kingdom defence budget.
Will the hon. Gentleman keep in mind the question of the price at which this butter will be sold here? The position is extremely bad already and if he does not regulate the price this butter will only be available to those who can afford it and not to those who ought to have it.
I assure the hon. Member that in these discussions the point of the price is being carefully considered.