asked the Minister of Food what profit was made by His Majesty's Government from the sale of Nigerian oils and oilseeds in the year ended 31st January, 1947.
No separate figures of profits or losses are maintained on imports of oils and fats from particular sources of supply. During the financial year ended 31st March, 1947, the Ministry of Food made a profit of £670,353, or just under 1 per cent. of total sales, on all its transactions in oils and fats.
Is the Minister aware that the profits for the succeeding year amounted to £14 million, and that they have been separately calculated? Will she inquire into this bulk selling and see what were the actual profits in the previous year?
The hon. Member must realise that when we are engaged in transactions on this large scale we cannot always break even., It is quite possible that next year there will be a loss which will offset the profits which have been earned.
Have the profits from these transactions gone to the West African producers or are they retained by the Ministry of Food?
Certainly they are retained by the Ministry of Food. I have just said that they amount to under 1 per cent.