HC Deb 23 June 1931 vol 254 cc198-200

asked the President of the Board of Trade the imports of butter from Australia and from Soviet Russia, respectively, during the first five months of 1931; and whether any bounty is paid in either country on such exports?


During the five months ended 31st May, 1931, the quantity of butter imported into the United Kingdom from Australia and the Soviet Union amounted to 737,448 cwts, and 32,270 cwts. respectively. There is no direct Government bounty on the export of butter from Australia, but the producers impose a voluntary levy on themselves, out of the proceeds of which a bounty is paid on all butter exported. In Soviet Russia all foreign trade is a Government monopoly, and it is impossible to say what kind and degree of encouragement that Government may accord to the export of any one particular commodity.


Is the tick trade a dumping trade?


asked the President of the Board of Trade the amount of the exports of British margarine during the first five months of 1931 compared with the same period of 1930, and the countries to which such exports have been consigned?


As the answer is in tabular form, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The following statement shows the total domestic exports of margarine from the United Kingdom, registered during the five months ended 31st May, 1930 and 1931, distinguishing the principal countries to which consigned.

—— January-May.
1930. 1931.
Cwts. Cwts.
Total Exports 13,866 142,888
Of which consigned to:
Soviet Union (Russia) 129,506
China (exclusive of Hong Kong, Macao and leased territories). 1,880 1,933
Channel Islands 3,882 3,478
Gibraltar 948 796
Malta and Gozo 217 432
Straits Settlements and Dependencies (including Labuan). 333 403
Hong Kong 362 406
Canada 402
Jamaica and Dependencies 1,780 2,014
Bermudas 577 659
Other countries 3,485 3,261
18. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any information as to the extent of the advances given by British firms for the import of £2,000,000 worth of Soviet Russian butter this year and as to the long term and/or other credits given for the export of margarine to Russia?


I am not in a position to make any statement as to what advances have been made against imports of Russian butter nor as to the terms on which margarine has been exported to the Soviet Union. With regard, however, to the figure of £2,000,000 mentioned I would point out that up to May im- ports of Russian butter this year have been less in value than last year when the total value of the imports during the 12 months was just over £1,000,000, only.

Commander BELLAIRS

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that most of the Russian butter comes in in the summer months?


Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the statement of the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Owen), who has just returned from Russia, that butter is not now an article of diet of the Russian people?