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Commodity Subsidies

Volume 416: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1945

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state in tabular form the cost of the various commodities subsidised by His Majesty's Government and at the same time quote the profits on other commodities, cost and sale price, such as timber, cocoa, palm oil and other controlled commodities.

The following table shows the cost of subsidies in 1945–46 estimated on the basis of the conditions before Lend-Lease came to an end:—

£ million
Bread, Flour and Oatmeal58.8
Eggs and Egg Products18.5
Butter 7.8
Net loss on other foodstuffs3.4(1)
National Milk and Milk-in-Schools Scheme20.0
Animal Feeding-stuffs18.5
Contribution to cost of New Zealand Government's stabilisation policy in respect of food production4.0
Total subsidy of food production and distribution242.2
Utility Clothing4.0
Coal Transport2.0
Estimated loss of Ministry of Supply on raw materials entering into domestic civilian consumption (calendar year 1945) 4.1(2)

1 ) This figure is the balance of the profits and losses on the residual items other than those shown separately in the table. On cocoa there is an estimated profit of £500,000 and on palm oil of £1,700,000, the latter being an offset to gross losses of £2,200,000 on other oils and fats. (2 )This figure represents the subsidy on the proportion of raw materials estimated to enter into civilian consumption at home. The biggest items are £3,100,000 on wool and £445,000 on timber.

In view of the very large number of commodities and the many different grades and types of which they are composed, it is not posible to show the cost and sale prices separately.