HC Deb 09 May 1918 vol 105 cc2315-6
29. Colonel W. THORNE

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether the Ministry of Food has imported all the cattle cake for which the Ministry of Shipping has been able to allocate tonnage, or whether there was in the latter months of last year much spare freight space on neutral and other ships which might have been used for the importation of cattle cake?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, previous to December 17th, 1917, 96.7 per cent, of our imports from North America—the main source of supply of imported cattle cake in present circumstances—came in controlled tonnage, and of the remaining 3.3 per cent, of uncontrolled space, the greater proportion was occupied by foodstuffs. Since December 17th, all tonnage has been controlled and allocated in accordance with a priority scheme approved by the Cabinet, and the policy of the Government has been to import grain and other food for human beings in preference to feeding-stuffs for animals. The importation of cattle cake from Egypt was discontinued in order that space might be provided for cotton seed and other more directly important materials. In no case has the question of price had any effect upon the amount of cake imported. I would further point out that large quantities of cotton seed and linseed have been imported into this country, and on arrival here have been crushed so as to produce both oil for edible and explosive purposes, and cake for feeding purposes.

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