Oral Answers to Questions — Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development (Speech)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th February 1964.

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Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury 12:00 am, 25th February 1964

asked the Prime Minister if the public speech of the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development on Commonwealth trade at the New Zealand Society dinner on 5th February represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

Yes, Sir. The British Government's policy is to increase our trade in both directions with New Zealand as with other Commonwealth countries.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

Is the Prime Minister aware that this disastrous speech has done a great deal of harm to our relations with New Zealand? Is he aware that the Deputy Prime Minister of new Zealand has called it a misrepresentation and that it has embarrassed our trading relations with New Zealand? If we want to win friends and trade, is this the way to do it? Has the Prime Minister sent an apology to New Zealand for the speech?

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

No, Sir. No apology has been sent to New Zealand, and none is necessary. What my right hon. Friend was saying was that we had adopted a quota system for New Zealand butter in this country, with the result that we were paying higher prices here for butter than we would otherwise do.

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

I should like to have notice of that. There have been no representations to me.