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Eggs (Imports From Poland And Roumania)

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 9 May 1961

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2.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if the sales of Polish eggs in Great Britain in the week be ginning 1st May were reduced to not more than 18,000 boxes, in accordance with the undertaking given to him by the Polish authorities; and if he will state the current sales of Roumanian eggs in the British market.

I understand from the Polish authorities that for technical reasons 18,900 boxes of Polish eggs were in fact sold in the shell egg market in the week beginning the 1st May. Shipments of Roumanian eggs are well under 1,000 boxes per week.

Can my right hon. Friend tell us what is the meaning of this phrase "for technical reasons"? Will he recall that only ten days ago the President of the Board of Trade gave a definite undertaking that the sales of Polish eggs would not be more than 18,000 cases? The number has now been reduced to 11,000 cases from this week onwards, but we do not want any fiddling about for technical reasons. Can my right hon. Friend say what this means?

We did not require the Poles to limit their sales to these figures, but that is what they told us they would do. They regret that they sold quantities in excess of that stated. The reason was that there was trouble over a ship which was delayed in handling cargo because of the dock strike. The Poles have told us that future sales of 11,000 cases a week will be reduced to take account of the excess of 900 boxes which were sold.