HC Deb 04 March 1879 vol 244 cc134-5

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If his attention has been directed to the unfairly high average prices of the official Corn Returns, mainly caused by the same lots of corn being returned a second and third time, thus embracing the merchant's profits and cost of transit; by the growing custom of buying corn by weights greatly in excess of the imperial measure; and by the increasing quantities of inferior grain which never appear in the Corn Returns at all; and, whether he will take steps that the average value of all grain grown in Great Britain may be more accurately ascertained in future in the official Corn Returns?


Sir, I would remind my hon. Friend that the present mode of ascertaining the average prices of corn, including the re-sales, has prevailed for more than half-a-century, and no question of its being an unfair mode has, so far as we know, ever been raised. I would further say that, whatever may be the custom in sales, the Inspectors of Corn Returns are bound to make their returns in imperial measures, and, again, that the Board of Trade have no means of knowing whether the quantity of inferior corn not sent to market is increasing or not. I can assure my hon. Friend that we shall gladly consider any suggestions he may be good enough to make with a view of making any improvement in the present system of Corn Returns.