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Trading Accounts

Volume 466: debated on Monday 27 June 1949

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asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that the amounts for subsidies shown on pages 24 to 45 of Trading Accounts and Balance Sheets, 1947–48 (Paper 49), total 100,925,725 and that the total shown on page 48 in the Consolidated Account is£102,409,623; and if he will explain the difference.

Yes. In arriving at the figure of£100,925,725 the hon. Member has omitted subsidies paid on maize and maize starch sold for the manufacture of glucose (£568,527) and to British Sugar Corporation Limited (£915,371) shown on page 42.

asked the Minister of Food if he will give detailed particulars of the£6,332,343 for fish distribution scheme on page 48 of Trading Accounts and Balance Sheets. 1947–48.

This item represents the cost of transport of all price-controlled varieties of sea fish (excluding salmon and trout) in respect of movements (for which the Ministry assumes responsibility) from the ports of landing to inland markets, retailers and fish friers and movements between one port and another for smoking.An analysis is given below:

White fish5,110,315

The object of the scheme is to ensure equitable distribution at even prices by way of equalisation of carriage charges, and a levy is imposed on first-hand buyers to meet these charges. The levy is collected under the Fish Sales (Charges) Order and amounted in 1947–48 to£5,401,297, as shown on page 49 of the Trading Accounts and Balance Sheets, 1947–48. There was thus a deficit in 1947–48 of£931,046. In the previous year there was a surplus of£781,917. The net deficit over the two years has been recovered in 1948–49.

asked the Minister of Food if he will explain the difference between the amount shown on page 50 of the Trading Accounts and Balance Sheets, 1947–48, of£16,653,880 and the detailed amounts called general overheads on pages 24 to 44 which total£13,927,623.

The Foreword to the Accounts (page 22) explains that the overhead expenses of the Ministry consist of administrative expenses (£16,653,880), together with the cost of deinfestation services (£138,358). Of the total (£16,792,238)£912,500 was allocated to the cost of Welfare Schemes, etc., and this figure was transferred as part of the credit entry of£1,093,392 on page 51. In referring to a figure of£13,927,623 the hon. Member has apparently omitted to take account of the general overhead expenses totalling£1,952,115 shown on page 47.