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Grains (Export)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 23 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Food if he will give details of the £49 million of cereals, including cereal feedingstuffs, sold for delivery abroad during the year ended 31st March, 1948, showing the amounts sold to each country.

As the answer contains a number of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The hon. Member should note that virtually all the grains were intended for human consumption.

Can the Minister give an assurance that these sales were effected at a profit and not at a loss?

I must have notice of that financial question. Some would be subject to subsidy and some not.

Following is the information:

Crown Agents for the Colonies.791,00025,009,000
Middle East and Oil Companies.32,000923,000
Services Overseas, War Office Civil Affairs Admiralty and N.A.A.F.I.151,0004,332,000
Saudi Arabia9,000236,000
Southern Rhodesia8,000132,000
Private Traders1,00044,000

Of the total quantity of 1,604,000 tons little over 1,000 tons were delivered out of United Kingdom stocks. The remainder were purchases for countries for which we had procurement responsibility or acted as purchasing agents.

Of the total of £49 million, wheat and flour account for about 84 per cent., maize for 6 per cent., barley for 4½ per cent., and rye and oats together for 1½ per cent. Virtually all these grains were intended for human consumption.