HC Deb 26 July 1934 vol 292 cc2154-5

Lords Amendment: In page 4, line 19, leave out "average price," and insert "average of the prices."


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

3.39 a.m.


I would like to ask the Minister for an explanation of what the effect of the Amendment will be. I would like to know if the average price referred to here means the mean of the two prices. The House will know that the part of the Bill to be amended by these words makes provision for the ascertainment of prices of New Zealand and Canadian imported cheese. These prices are different, Canadian cheese being at a higher price than New Zealand cheese, and in determining the amount of payment to be made for the cheese-price of milk, the two prices are taken into account. We see that the purpose of this Amendment is to take the average price, and I have ascertained the prices and quantities of cheese imported from those two countries in the last six months. The price for New Zealand cheese has been about 4¾d., and the price for Canadian cheese has been about 5¾d. The mean of these two figures would be 5¼d., or, when you take the weighted average, 4¾d. The price of the cheaper cheese has been raised by an almost imperceptible fraction because of the disparity in the quantity.

3.41 a.m.


My hon. Friend is quite right. There is a point here, and it is, as he correctly stated, the average of the two prices and not the weighted average that is taken, because that is the custom of the trade. That is the calculation drawn up. It is necessary to put it in that it is the custom of the trade we are taking, not the weighted average.

Subsequent Lords Amendment, in page 8, line 34, agreed to.