Skip to main content

Wheat Quota Systems

Volume 245: debated on Monday 24 November 1930

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will give the House all the information in his possession regarding the operation of the quota system for wheat and other agricultural commodities in those countries into which it has been introduced?

The general purpose of "wheat quota" systems is to ensure the absorption in flour milling of a maximum quantity of the native wheat of the country concerned. The details of the systems vary in different countries.In Germany, millers are placed under a statutory obligation to purchase a prescribed and variable proportion of native wheat. During the past cereal year the proportion averaged about 55 per cent.; at the beginning of the present cereal year it was fixed at 80 per cent.In Portugal and Latvia, the system is applied to imported grain, millers being required to use a definite amount of native grain before obtaining the necessary licence to import.In France, millers are required to use a proportion (90 per cent. since August, 1930, but previously 97 per cent.) of native wheat.In Luxemburg, the proportion of native grain in mixed wheat flour and rye flour is 20 per cent.In Czechoslovakia, arrangements are proposed to require millers to use 75 per cent. of native wheat, and to require flour importers to blend 75 per cent. of native wheat dour with imported flour.In Sweden, the latest quota regulations require millers to use 75 per cent. of native wheat and flour importers to blend a similar proportion of home-willed flour with imported flour under Customs supervision at the ports.In Norway and Switzerland, millers are required to make use of all native bread cereals of milling quality, subject, in the case of Switzerland, to a maximum equivalent to one-sixth of the total flour output of the mill.Responsibility for prescribing and supervising the "wheat quota" lies with the Minister of Agriculture or a corresponding Minister, but certain powers and duties are delegated, in some countries, to other organisations. Owing to the novel and experimental nature of the schemes, the system of administration is made as flexible as possible in order to deal with special circumstances and unforeseen contingencies. In most cases the systems have been in operation for a short period. The information available is insufficient to enable the precise effect of the quota system by itself to be closely determined at the present time. A quota system for rye on similar lines to that for wheat is in operation in the following countries:—Latvia, Luxemburg, Czechoslovakia and Sweden. In Norway, the term bread cereals covers barley and rye as well as wheat, and in Switzerland includes wheat, spelt, barley, rye, meslin and maize in those districts where these are customarily used in breadmaking flours. No information is available in my Department as to the existence of quota systems in relation to other agricultural products.