HC Deb 02 March 1948 vol 448 c213
72. Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the President of the Board of Trade if it can yet be determined whether recent purchases of Egyptian cotton at high prices by the Raw Cotton Commission will involve that Commission in a loss; whether he is satisfied that they have adequate funds at their disposal to bear such losses; or whether he can make a statement with regard to this matter.

Mr. Bottomley

No. Sir. It will depend on the price at which the Raw Cotton Commission sells the cotton. It has adequate funds at its disposal to meet market fluctuations.

Lieut.-Colonel Bromley -Davenport

Will the accounts ever be published in detail, showing the profit or loss made on these transactions? Will the taxpayers ever know how much money is being lost?

Mr. Bottomley

This is a matter which will be published. It is for the Commission themselves to determine the selling price, and I see no grounds for supposing that it will be other than suitable to the taxpayer.

Mr. W. Fletcher

Will the hon. Gentleman go into the question of purchases of raw cotton by a British organisation or joint organisation in Germany in competition with the home organisation, because there is the greatest confusion and loss created by the ridiculous method being used, in which each gets in the other's way?

Mr. Bottomley

I will consider that.