HC Deb 16 October 1946 vol 427 cc900-1
78. Mr. Byers

asked the Minister of Food the total quantity of wheat required to be imported in the next 12 months to satisfy the full requirements of the British human and animal consumption; and what efforts have been made to achieve this amount.

Dr. Summerskill

The quantity of wheat and flour required to be imported into the United Kingdom during the crop year August, 1046, to July, 1947, to satisfy the full estimated requirements for human consumption is 206½ million bushels (5,531,000 tons) wheat equivalent. A substantial part of this quantity has been secured, and I am making every endeavour to obtain the balance with due regard to the needs of other wheat importing countries. No wheat is imported for animal feeding.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

I assume that in arriving at that figure the hon. Lady has estimated the precise wheat harvest in this country. Can she say what that figure is?

Dr. Smnmerskill

We have not exactly estimated it; this is a rough estimate.

Mr. Byers

Is the hon. Lady making any effort at all to increase importation, in order to allow for an increase in the allocation of pig and poultry feeding-stuffs in this country?

Dr. Summerskill

The total secured to date is made up as follows: Canada, 160 million bushels; Australia, 28 million; Argentine, 0.6 million; the United States, 14.4 million. I hope I have been able to satisfy the hon. Gentleman that we are trying.