§ Mr. Fowler
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the import arrangements for butter for the year beginning 1st April, 1971.
§ Mr. Noble
The Government are authorising import quotas for butter for 1971–72 totalling 420,000 tons. This is the amount estimated as required to keep stocks of butter in the United Kingdom at a satisfactory level over the year as a whole, after taking into account the expected level of home production and consumption of butter during the year. 410,000 tons of this amount is being allocated in the usual way to supplying countries. Since the supply situation is likely to be tight in the immediate future, it has been decided to allocate the remaining 10,000 tons at once to nearby suppliers with butter available for immediate delivery. My right hon. Friend will continue to maintain a close watch on the butter situation in order to ensure that adequate supplies remain available.
The global quota for imports of near butter and butter fat mixtures will be 12,500 tons and the global quota for ghee, which was introduced last year, will be 1,000 tons.
Notices to importers giving details of the butter, near butter and ghee quota arrangements will be published shortly.