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Imported Cereals

Volume 466: debated on Monday 4 July 1949

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23.

asked the Minister of Food what proportion of the cereals imported into this country during 1948 was bought through private firms in the grain trade.

A very small proportion in 1948—less than one per cent.

In view of what the Minister of Food said in this House on 26th May this year, will the right hon. Lady convey that information to her right hon. Friend?

No, Sir. I think the hon. and learned Gentleman misunderstood my right hon. Friend, who said that he reserved the right either to enter into Government-to-Government contracts or to use private trade. The hon. and learned Gentleman, I remember, denied that categorically, and this has proved that my right hon. Friend was right.

Does not the right hon. Lady recollect that the right hon. Gentleman began by saying that all cereals were bought through private merchants?

My right hon. Friend said:

"I did not say that the Ministry of Food do not buy direct when they wish to, but I say they reserve the right to buy through firms in the grain trade acting as their agents, as they have done through these years, when they consider it right to do so."—[OFFICIAL. REPORT, 26th May, 1949; Vol. 465, c. 1568.]

24.

asked the Minister of Food what proportion of the cereals imported into this country during 1948 came from countries other than Australia, Canada, U.S.A., and the Argentine.

25.

asked the Minister of Food what proportion of the cereals bought from Australia, Canada, U.S.A., and the Argentine, respectively, in 1948 was bought through private firms in the grain trade.