HC Deb 03 August 1916 vol 85 cc501-2
81. Major HUNT

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that farmers have to pay full market price for their feeding stuffs, manures, and other necessaries, he is aware that there is dissatisfaction amongst them at the price of their wool being cut down by the Government below the prices of 1915; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?


I am aware of the feeling among farmers to which the hon. and gallant Member refers. The Board of Agriculture has made repeated representations to the Army Council on the subject, and it was, no doubt, after a consideration of them that the concession in price which was recently given was announced. The hon. and gallant Member is not quite correct in stating that the farmers have to pay full market price for their fertilisers, as I am informed that sulphate of ammonia makers have recently announced their willingness to sell sulphate to manure mixers and farmers at prices considerably below the ordinary market prices likely to prevail for export, which represent an increase on average pre-war prices considerably less than that which the farmer will receive for his wool. I hope that farmers will take advantage of this position in placing their orders for sulphate in good time and for large quantities.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he present price of sulphate of ammonia is £17 10s. a ton— that was what was recently charged— which represents an increase of 40 per cent, on the pre-war cost?


That is why I call attention to the fact that the makers are now offering it to farmers at £15 a ton up to 1st October, and £15 10s. for the rest of the season.

Major HUNT

Are they doing it all over the country?


Yes, I believe so—all the makers who are within what is called the Sulphate of Ammonia Association.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Financial Secretary has informed us that the excess price over the price ruling in 1914 represents £2,000,000? Is not that sufficient plunder in these days of equality of sacrifice?

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