HC Deb 26 June 1934 vol 291 cc958-9
24. Duchess of ATHOLL

asked the Minister of Agriculture if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the imports of barley in the first five months of 1934 were 40 per cent. higher than in the same period of 1933 and 111 per cent. higher than in the same period of 1932, while the average c.i.f. values in 1934 were 30 per cent. less than in 1932; and what steps he proposes to take to give effective protection to our farmers?


I am aware of the facts to which my Noble Friend refers. The increase in pig production in this country has made it necessary during recent months to import a larger quantity than usual of feeding barley. The home crop last year was below average in quantity, but was of very good quality and a larger proportion than usual has been sold for malting. For these two reasons, a larger proportion of imported supplies has probably been of feeding quality and it is not, therefore, a matter for surprise that the average price of imports has been on a lower level. In this connection, it should, however, be remembered that the price of home-grown barley in England and Wales during the first five months of this year was 31 per cent. higher than in the same period of last year. In these circumstances, I see no grounds for taking action as suggested in the last part of the question.


Does that not show that imports are on the whole good, and that they benefit some people or some animals?

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