HC Deb 07 February 1939 vol 343 cc730-1
27. Mr. David Adams

asked the President of the Board of Trade the date on which the international conference for the working out of the wheat marketing agreement will meet; and whether, in view of the fact that the British Government's delegates have expressed its willingness to support a restriction scheme designed to secure minimum prices above the current market quotations, determined steps will be taken to prevent a rise in the price of bread in this country?

Mr. Stanley

No arrangements for calling an international conference on wheat have been settled but the Wheat Advisory Committee, on which the main wheat importing and exporting countries are represented, decided at their meeting in January, to appoint a preparatory committee (which is now sitting) to prepare the ground with a view to the holding of such a conference if a sufficient basis of agreement is disclosed. No commitments have been made by His Majesty's Government or any other Government, though I. believe it is generally felt that an undue fall in wheat prices might have a serious influence on world trade. I would remind the hon. Member that His Majesty's Government were a party to the London Wheat Agreement of 1933, but he may rest assured that they would not lose sight of the possible effects of any agreement on the price of bread.

Mr. Adams

In view of the fact that the British delegates are in favour of a restriction scheme, does the Minister not agree that certain steps should be taken to protect consumers?

Mr. Stanley

I have said already that the British delegates are not committed to any scheme.