HC Deb 13 February 1947 vol 433 cc523-4
56. Mr. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the annual cost of the domestic fat ration; how much comes from abroad; and the separate proportions and amounts from the main sources of supply.

Mr. Dalton

£84 million. 97 per cent. of the fat ration is imported. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a number of statistics relating to the last part of the Question.

Mr. Osborne

Will the Chancellor say, in regard to imports from America, whether they have been cut down in any way because of the lack of dollars?

Mr. Dalton

If the hon. Member will read the figures, I think he will get a clear picture of the position up to the end of the year. We are constantly watching, of course, for any opportunity to substitute a cheaper for a more expensive source of supply. That goes on continuously.

Following are the statistics.

The distribution is:

Butter 46.0
Margarine 25.6
Compound 5.7
Lard 7.0

Butter. 48 per cent. of our 1946 imports came from New Zealand, 31 per cent. from Australia, 21 per cent. from Denmark. 5 per cent. of the ration is from U.K.

Margarine and Compound. Some of the imported oils are used for soap and other industry, and some goes to the catering trade. The combinations of these oils are so varied that it is impossible to segregate the uses to which oils from each source are put. But over the whole range of edible oils, 56 per cent. of our imports in 1946 came from British West Africa. 14 per cent. from India and Ceylon, and 13 per cent. from South Atlantic whaling.

Lard. 85 per cent. of our 1946 imports came from U.S.A. and 15 per cent. from Argentina.