§ MR. HOWARD VINCENT
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture if he can state the quantity of wheat and flour which was produced in the United Kingdom in 1890, compared to 1870 and 1880, and the quantity imported from foreign countries and British Possessions, respectively, in those years; and if the removal of the Customs registration fee of 1s. per quarter upon foreign grain in 1869 had any appreciable effect upon the price of bread, and what revenue it would have produced last year had it still been in force?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. CHAPLIN, Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
In 1890 the official estimate of wheat and flour produced in the United Kingdom was 9,500,000 qrs., or, roughly speaking, nearly 41,000,000 cwt. In the same year there was imported of wheat and flour from foreign countries, roughly speaking in round numbers, 65,000,000 cwt., and from British Possessions 14,000,000 cwt. There are no official estimates of the production of wheat in Great Britain for the years 1880 and 1870, but calculations have been made by Sir John B. Lawes, and, taking these calculations as the basis for comparison, there was imported in 1880 of wheat and flour from foreign countries, in round numbers, 56,000,000 cwt., and from British Possessions 12,000,000 cwt. In 1870, wheat and flour from foreign countries, 33,000,000 cwt.; from British Possessions, 3,000,000 cwt. There is no official record of the prices of bread in this country, but a Return was ordered by the House of Commons in 1888 of the prices of bread in 12 different unions from the years 1867 to 1887, and it would appear from this Return that no effect can be observed in the price of bread from so small a change in the value of wheat as was caused by the removal of the duty of 1s. in 1869. The duty, which applied to all grain as well as flour and meal, it is estimated, would have yielded a revenue of £2,047,000 if it had been still in force in 1890.