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New Zealand And Danish Butter

Volume 531: debated on Monday 26 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Food whether he will make a statement regarding supplies of butter from New Zealand and Denmark.

The long-term contract for the purchase of butter from New Zealand, was originally due to expire on the 31st July, 1955, but will now be terminated, by mutual agreement, on the 31st July, 1954. The Danish contract is not due to expire until September, 1955, but discussions about the final year will take place shortly.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there has been a good deal of criticism in New Zealand because his Department has been making a profit on New Zealand butter? Is not this most unfortunate? Will he do what he can to ensure that it does not affect future supplies?

The termination of the arrangement a year earlier than was originally intended is by mutual agreement between the New Zealand Commission and ourselves.

Is that termination one of the reasons why the Ministry is now buying some ancient butter from the United States?

No, Sir. We have assured the New Zealand Commission that we shall not import butter from other than our normal suppliers except to the extent of the shortfall on New Zealand butter this year, which will be some 20,000 tons below the expected figure.