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Flour Imports

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1950

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asked the Minister of Food if he will state the quantities of flour which the United Kingdom has contracted for and purchased from Canada and Australia this year with the comparable quantities purchased in 1938; and if he will give an estimate of the amount of animal feedingstuffs lost by importing flour rather than wheat.

The best comparison is between imports of Canadian and Australian flour into the United Kingdom in 1938, which amounted to 329,000 tons, and imports in the latest period of 12 months for which official figures are available—June, 1949, to May, 1950—which amounted to 442,000 tons. If these quantities of flour had been milled in the United Kingdom at the extraction rates prevailing in the two periods, the amount of wheat offals which would have been produced in the process would have been about 128,000 tons in 1938 and about 78,000 tons in the later period.

In future negotiations with Canada and Australia will the Minister always remember the desirability of buying wheat rather than flour so that our pig and poultry keepers may have some decent quality rations?

We have to bear that in mind, but at the same time we have to take into account other people's desires in the way of milling flour.