§ 82. Mr. SUGDEN
asked the Minister of Food what steps are being taken to organise Colonial wheat and cereal sup- 1921 plies from all parts of the British Dominions to the United Kingdom without discouraging the growth and production of wheat and cereals in this country?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
Beyond the fact that the Royal Commission on Wheat Supplies in arranging its purchases has naturally regarded with favour any offers of wheat from the Dominions or Colonies, no special steps are taken by the Ministry of Food to organise supplies of cereals from these sources. With regard to the encouragement of the home production of cereals, I would refer the hon. Member to the measure recently introduced by my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, and approved by this House.
§ 84. Major WHELER
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the sudden fall in the prices of British wheat, barley, and oats; whether he is aware that many farmers are finding great difficulty in selling their wheat to the millers owing to the stocks on hand; that oats have in some districts dropped to 40s. per quarter; and whether, seeing how seriously the employment of labour will be affected, especially on the poor corn lands of this country by this sudden reduction of prices, he can make any statement which will be of help to growers of wheat and oats in this country?
§ Colonel GIBBS (for Sir A. Boscawen)
I am aware that farmers in some cases are finding a difficulty in selling their wheat to millers owing to the fact that British wheat is not in much demand at the present time. Millers are instructed to pay 95s. per quarter (504 lbs.) for wheat of sound milling quality, but I am informed that much of the wheat that has recently been offered has been of inferior quality, and part of the reported decline in the price of British wheat is attributable to this cause. With regard to the latter part of the question, the Government policy for the encouragement of growers of wheat and oats is contained in the Agriculture Bill, which it is hoped will shortly become law.
§ Major WHELER
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many farmers a week ago were unable to sell wheat and were told if they did hand it over to millers it 1922 would not be used till after Christmas, and does not this show there is no encouragement for the Agriculture Bill, but rather the reverse?
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Scottish oats are in great demand at a good price, and that there is a great deal of foreign oats which are not clean like Scottish oats, and which are consigned to people as Scottish oats, and will he take care to see that those who ask for Scottish oatmeal get what they ask for?