§ 23. Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that the imports of both beef and mutton were much greater in March this year than in March last year, he will recommend the protecting of the live-stock industry by means of a tariff?
§ Major ELLIOT
I must remind my hon. Friend that imports of beef and mutton from foreign sources are regulated on a quarterly and not on a monthly basis, while, in the case of Australia and New Zealand, the present arrangements relate to the year 1933 as a whole. In these circumstances, no special significance attaches to the quantity of meat imported in any particular month. In point of fact, during the period November, 1932. to March, 1933, total imports of chilled and frozen beef were over 15,500 tons less, and of frozen mutton and lamb—most of which comes from the Dominions—were
§ ceived. The total maximum imports of bacon and hams during this period from the countries participating in the negotiations will be about 17 per cent. below the imports from the same countries in the June quarter, 1932.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give any idea of what these restrictions have cost the British consumer so far?
§ Following are the quantities:
§ about 1,000 tons less than in the period November, 1931, to March, 1932.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
As the basis is a quarterly basis, can the Minister say why the imports of mutton during the first three months of this year were very much larger than during the first three months of last year?
§ Major ELLIOT
It is a little difficult to discuss this matter by means of question and answer, but, briefly, there was a very big reduction in the first quarter, apart from the quantities arranged.
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
Is there any possibility of having a discussion of this question in the not distant future?