HC Deb 26 May 1879 vol 246 cc1227-8

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If the amount of wheat returned as sold in the 150 market towns of England and Wales from which the Corn Returns are compiled fell from 3,579,623 quarters, in 1865, to 1,942,688 quarters, in 1879; whether he accounts for this great diminution by the inefficient collection of the present Returns; whether, notwithstanding the frequent re-sales included in these Returns, they represent less than one-fifth of the wheat grown in England; and, whether be has any grounds for believing that the averages calculated upon this basis fairly represent the prices the grower receives for his wheat?


Sir, the subject which is raised by my hon. Friend's Question is a difficult and complicated one, and if I were to endeavour to reply to it I should be obliged to enter into an argument, and, in fact, to make a speech of some length. I have had a careful Memorandum prepared by the Statistical Department of the Board of Trade, and I propose to lay it very shortly upon the Table of the House, so that I may give my hon. Friend all the information that I can obtain on this matter, respecting which I am aware that very considerable interest is felt.