HC Deb 12 March 1940 vol 358 c999
46. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to conserve our foreign exchange resources, in view of the rise which has taken place in the price of foreign wheat?

Sir J. Simon

Since the outbreak of war it has been one of the main objects of the financial, economic and agricultural policy of the Government to conserve our foreign exchange resources for essential purposes. As my hon. Friend is aware, the steps taken include the financial measures embodied in the Defence (Finance) Regulations, import licensing, and the control by Government Departments of the purchase of many commodities and foodstuffs from abroad. The campaign for the ploughing-up of 2,000,000 additional acres in time for the next harvest and the Government's other measures for increasing the production of food in the United Kingdom will also reduce our reliance on imports.

Mr. De la Bère

Is it not crystal clear to my right hon. Friend that the greater the amount of wheat and feeding-stuffs that can be grown in this country, the greater the saving will be in foreign exchange? Further, is he not aware that agriculture is virtually immobilised owing to the half-hearted measures of the Government, and also that I am going to have a word with the Lord Privy Seal?