HC Deb 01 November 1937 vol 328 cc531-3
34. Mr. Lambert

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether any reasons have been given by the Import Duties Advisory Committee for the rejection of duties on imported eggs; and whether the policy of the Government to secure reasonable prices for home-produced poultry products has been changed by the decision?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I would refer my right hon. Friend to the Treasury announcement of the decision of the Import Duties Advisory Committee, a copy of which I am sending to him. With regard to the second part of the question, I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to a number of questions regarding the poultry industry on 21st October.

Mr. Lambert

Does my right hon. Friend propose to take any early action in regard to the poultry industry?

Mr. Morrison

As I informed the House in the answer to which I have referred

Peak prices of poultry feeding stuffs in general were not reached until April of this year. The following statement shows wholesale prices of certain feeding stuffs in the week ended 27th October with comparative figures for a year earlier and for the week ended 14th April, 1937.
Commodity. Week ended 28th October, 1936. Week ended 14th April, 1937. Week ended 27th October, 1937. Percentage increase or decrease column (3) over column (1). Percentage increase or decrease column (3) over column (2).
(1) (2) (3)
£ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. Per cent. Per cent.
Wheat, per cwt. (a) 8 11 10 2 9 2 + 2.88 — 9.8
Oats, per cwt. (a) 6 11 8 6 8 6 + 2.29
Maize, Argentine, per cwt. (b) 5 7 7 1 7 0 + 25.4 — 1.2
Bran, British, per ton (b) 6 18 0 8 3 6 7 16 0 + 13.0 — 4.6
Weatings, per ton (b) 7 10 0 8 8 0 8 13 0 + 13.3 + 3.0
Fish Meal, per ton (b) 55 3 6 15 6 0 15 11 0 +2.5 +1.6
(a) Average prices returned at markets scheduled under the Corn Returns Act, 1882, and the Corn Sales Act, 1921.
(b) Average prices at wholesale markets at Bristol, Hull, Liverpool and London. Prices are ex mill or store and those of bran, weatings and fish meal relate to quantities of not less than two tons
my right hon. Friend, the Import Duties Advisory Committee's decision in this matter is being given serious consideration by the Government, who are now investigating the matter. I shall make a statement as soon as I can.

Mr. T. Williams

Did I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that he was sending a copy of the report of the Import Duties Advisory Committee to the right hon. Gentleman, and, if so, may other hon. Members have a copy of that report?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir; I am not sending him a copy of the report, but of a Press announcement—the announcement referred to by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in reply to a question the other day.

37. Sir John Wardlaw-Milne

asked the Minister of Agriculture the difference in the cost of foodstuffs required by the poultry industry now, as compared with the peak prices of about a year ago?

Mr. Morrison

As the reply includes a table of figures, I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne

Could my right hon. Friend say whether the price is materially lower?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir: it is lower for some items, but not for all. I think when my hon. and gallant Friend sees the table that I am circulating he will be able to draw his own conclusions.

Following is the reply:

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