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War Economy

‘Commencement of Negotiations

‘Commencement of Negotiations

‘Pre-war discussions between the United Kingdom and the New Zealand Governments by way of exchange of cables and by personal conferences in London between the Minister of Marketing and the Ministry of Food had already prepared the ground for such immediate action as would be necessary to take in regard to the acquisition of New Zealand products by the United Kingdom Government in the event of war being declared. After the outbreak of war the United Kingdom Government cabled through the New Zealand High Commissioner (on the 5th September 1939, in the case of meat, and on the 6th September in the case of dairy-produce) stating that they were prepared to buy New Zealand's “entire exportable surplus for twelve months of frozen beef, mutton, lamb, and edible offals” and “export surplus, being shipments up to the 31st July 1940” page 43 of butter and cheese. In reply the New Zealand Government cabled within twenty-four hours stating their willingness to consider an f.o.b. purchase of the total surplus of these products by the United Kingdom Government.’

This was an example of pre-war economic planning which was immediately effective when war broke out. The state of preparations for extra storage of perishable produce to meet possible shipping delays was in marked contrast.