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Foreign Barley

Volume 499: debated on Thursday 24 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Food how much barley he proposes to purchase from Iraq, around £40 per ton, and from Syria and the Lebanon, around £35 10s. per ton; and why he is prepared to pay so much more for foreign than for home-grown barley.

As my hon. Friend will realise it would be imprudent to anticipate terms and sources of future purchases from overseas.

As to the second part of the Question, the prices paid overseas are fluctuating market prices which may include cost of insurance and freight. These purchases have been necessary to secure the supplies necessary to maintain the feedingstuffs ration pool. The various prices are not comparable with the Ministry's current buying price. This price though still remunerative is a fall-back guaranteed price of which farmers have rarely to avail themselves.