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National Softwood Brokers, Limited (Functions)

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 22 May 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what are the detailed functions of the National Softwood Brokers, Limited; what remuneration is now paid for such services and on what basis this has been determined; and whether allocation of softwood to merchants is made by the company or by Timber Control.

The main functions of the National Softwood Brokers Limited are:

  • (a) to handle in trust for the Timber Control all imported softwood until its disposal to merchants,
  • (b) to act as del credere selling agents to merchants for the Control,
  • (c) to arrange storage for goods not sold ex ship, and
  • (d) to make necessary disbursements and collect sales, proceeds, etc., on behalf of the Control.
  • The current remuneration is at the rate of £177,000 a year for expenses (based on ascertained expenses during the previous year) and management plus
    Material.Government or Administration.Provision for review of prices.Date of expiry.Remarks
    CottonNigeriaPrice fixed on estimate of world prices over period and not subject to review.Disposal of 1948 crop.For purchase of exportable surplus.
    FlaxCanada, Australia and New Zealand.Subject to agreement annually and in case of Australia and New Zealand to sharing profit or loss in proportion to value of flax taken (except for 1946 crop.)Disposal of 1946 crop.Covers production from an agreed acreage.
    Hemp (Sisal)British East Africa.Subject to review annually or at any time for special reasonsDisposal of production up to 31st Dec. 1947Agreement for purchase of exportable surplus is with producers negotiated through Government.
    HidesBritish East and West African Governments.Subject to review by agreement periodically in light of world price.6 months' notice on either side.Covers all supplies of suitable hides
    GoatskinsBritish East and West African Governments.Subject to review by agreement periodically in light of world price.3 months' notice on either side.Covers fixed proportion of exportable surplus
    PyrethrumBritish East African Govt.Subject to annual review.Disposal of 1947 crop.Agreement with Pyrethrum Board negotiated through Government for exportable surplus.
    MolassesU.S. Government (Recon Fin. Corp.).Subject to review it appreciable increase in level of prices of U.S. goods imported into Cuba.Disposal of 1947 crop.Covers allocated share in Cuban production.

    del credere expenses which will depend on turnover. Allocations of softwood to merchants are made by the Timber Control, and the Company is responsible for the detailed arrangements necessary to implement the allocations made by the Control.