HC Deb 25 November 1946 vol 430 cc1240-1
16. Sir Frank Sanderson

asked the Minister of Food, in view of the fact that the new crop of Egyptian cotton seed is now being harvested, what amount has been exported to the United Kingdom during the month of October; and what amount it is expected to import during the month of November and during the present season from November, 1946, to April, 1947, inclusive.

Mr. Strachey

Egypt is growing very much less cotton than she did before the war. She has increased, with our encouragement, her acreage of foodstuffs at the expense of cotton, and I am afraid it is unlikely that she will export any to us this season. We have had none so far.

Sir F. Sanderson

Is the Minister aware that prior to the war for generations past this country imported from Egypt an average of 300,000 and 400,000 tons of cotton seed per annum, and in view of our urgent need of this cotton seed to augment our supplies of edible oils and cattle feeding cake, will he make immediate representations to the Egyptian Government with a view to recommencing these shipments to the United Kingdom at the earliest possible moment?

Mr. Strachey

Yes, Sir. We long ago approached the Egyptian Government, and we are in touch with them on the subject all the time. We will get any supplies as soon as they are available.