HC Deb 21 February 1911 vol 21 cc1721-2

asked the President of the Board of Trade what has been the importation in recent years of butter and cheese from Canada; whether any explanation can be given for the decline since 1906; and what effect upon British supplies and prices does he anticipate from the opening of the United States markets to Canadian butter and cheese?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Buxton)

I will have a statement giving the figures as to the imports referred to by the hon. Member printed in the Votes. They will show that there has been a large decline since 1906 in our imports of butter and a smaller relative decline in our imports of cheese from Canada. The decline in the exports of butter and cheese from Canada compared with 1906 is understood to be due to a large extent to an increase in the home demand, but our imports of cheese from Canada have for the past two years been again tending upwards. As regards the last part of the question the hon. Member must draw his own conclusions from the facts before him, bearing in mind, however, that the movement of prices of an article of general consumption in a free market is determined by other factors besides the magnitude of the importations from one particular source.