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Grain Trade Agreement

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Food what were the total payments made in 1946 to former importers of grain into Great Britain whose operations were ended by the institution of bulk purchase of grain; what was the number of such payments; and what was the average amount paid.

My Ministry makes use, as agents, of former importers of grain in connection with its bulk purchases and, under the grain trade agreement which has been in operation throughout the war, pays to a central body the sum of £500,000 per annum, plus the expenses of the firms who are party to the agreement. Detailed figures are not available for 1946.

Does that reply mean that the importers who now receive payments receive them for current activities and that the payments are not made simply because they were put out of business by the Government's bulk purchasing policy?

The expenses incurred which I mentioned refer to firms who are active as agents of the Ministry within the bulk purchase scheme. They act as agents of the Minister.