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Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 4 May 1949

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Trading Surpluses


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what was the amount of the accumulated profits transferred to the Nigerian Marketing Board for groundnuts, benniseed, palm oil and palm kernels, relating to the period between the end of hostilities and 1st February, 1947.

The West African Produce Control Board did not sell at a profit during this period. The question of transferring accumulated profits does not therefore arise.

Is the Minister aware that last week the Parliamentary Secretary disclosed the fact that very considerable profits were made during this period by the Ministry of Food on this produce, and will he take up the matter with the Ministry of Food to see that the Nigerian producers get their fair share of profits?

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension on this point, and had he read last week's Debate, as I suggested, he would be clear about it. He does not appreciate the difference between trading surpluses of the Board and the resultant profits of the Ministry of Food after the produce has come into their hands.

Is the Minister aware that during the Debate on 24th February, he carefully avoided any reference to profits made during the period in question, and will he now give an explanation?

It is quite clear from the Debate recorded in the OFFICIAL REPORT why there were no trading surpluses up to 1st February, 1947, and why there have been surpluses since that date. There was then a change of policy.

Is it not a fact that the farmer in Nigeria receives for his groundnuts only about half of what the Minister of Food proposes to pay the Overseas Food Corporation in East Africa?

Export Controls


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is yet in a position to make a statement on the removal of controls imposed on the commercial export of goods from Nigeria.

Export is freely permitted, except where the produce is internationally allocated or marketed centrally through a statutory organisation. Exports to the sterling area are under open general licence, but specific licensing remains necessary for exports elsewhere to ensure compliance with exchange control regulations.

Is the Minister aware that within a week after I asked this Question at the end of March, the Nigerian Government made a change of policy which they announced to Nigeria, and will he now make a statement on that change of policy which he has not yet disclosed and of which he has not shown he is aware?