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NEW YORK. While millions of Americans are forced to go without meat and other millions are paying black market prices for the scant supply available, millions of pounds of lamb, beef and meat products would be ours almost for the asking except for restrictions placed by Great Britain upon the export of agricultural products from her Dominions, Mr. Alfred H. Benjamin, president of the Anglo-American Trading Corporation, with offices here, told a reporter. "I have advised the War Food Administration and other Government agencies," Mr. Benjamin said, "that I will provide a minimum of 100,000 tons of New Zealand lambs —meat which is now available and is in excess of the requirements of our Armed Forces in the Pacific — provided Great Britain lifts her embargo. "Great Britain has no refrigerated steamers to move this surplus," he said, "because of the huge quantities of meat that she must move from Argentina. Neither has Great Britain sufficient cold storage warehouse space to store these surplus lambs, which must remain in New Zealand until 1946. By then there will be a new crop of New Zealand lambs—a minimum of 265,000 tons. If the restrictions now existing were lifted, we could be assured of a minimum of 250,000 tons of lambs in 1945 and 1946 from New Zealand alone." "AH Bunk" Great Britain has agreed to arrange for the removal of the embargo on shipments from New Zealand at any time, in the event that such action is desired by the United States, Mr. Benjamin said. However, he said. United States Department of Agriculture officials have not asked for the removal of the'.embargo because they feared that if the United States should import from New Zealand to the mainland, in addition to taking large supplies from New Zealand for our Armed Forces in the Pacific, it would be necessary to increase Great Britain's reliance on United States lend-lease supplies. "That's all bunk," Mr. Benjamin said emphatically. "The G.l.'s don't like lamb and don't want lamb, and I have been informed that beef is being shipped to our forces in the Pacific from the United States. After Great Britain put her embargo into effect she contracted with the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and Canada to take all their agricultural products, including meat, butter, cheese and wool, for a period to extend four years after the end of the Japanese war. She also contracted for the meat products of Argentina for a considerable period of time."

Mr. Benjamin declared that Great Britain did not have sufficient cold storage facilities, because of the blitz, to handle the meat supply she contracted for in Argentina alone, not to mention the supply from New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

Mr. Benjamin, an Australian-born naturalised United States citizen, who has been in the meat importing business here since 1912, readily admitted that the restriction cn imports from the British Dominions was not the sole cause of the current meat shortage in the United States.

Dominated by British

"However," he said, "the release of millions of pounds of meat for import to the United States as an emergency measure would halt the black market almost immediately. The only other way to kill the black market would be for the Government to take over all the packing houses and all the meat animals on the farms."

According to Mr. Benjamin, the foundation of the current meat crisis in the United States was laid in June, 1942, when President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill announced the establishment of the combined food board, an international body, whose stated purpose was to utilise fully all the food resources available to the United Nations. This- board, Mr. Benjamin declared, has been, and is, dominated by the British, and he made a charge that the chaotic meat situation in this country was primarily due. to maladministration by the combined'food board, the war food administration and other agencies of our own Government.

"Since 1943," he said, "I have appealed to the various Government agencies in Washington to take the control away from the British Government, and said that unless this was done it was obvious that famine was inevitable in the United States."

Insist i'pon Embargo Going

Mr. Benjamin delared that there was no black market in meat in the United States during and after the first World War because millions of tons were imported.

If the United States were to insist

that Great Britain lift her embargo and cancel her restrictive contracts, Mr. Benjamin said, millions of pounds of meat from her Dominions could be brought to this country within sixty days. Asked whether these large imports would not work to the disadvantage of domestic meat producers, he pointed out that these imports would be only an emergency measure and that the situation would right itself after the war, with the United States tariff protecting American meat producers. Auckland Star and N.A.N.A.

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Bibliographic details

N.Z. LAMB FOR U.S., Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 177, 28 July 1945

Word Count

N.Z. LAMB FOR U.S. Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 177, 28 July 1945

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