HC Deb 31 January 1949 vol 460 cc1368-9
36. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Food whether in view of the fact that supplies of linseed are obtainable from Canada at a lower price than from other sources from which we are obtaining supplies, he will make further endeavours to purchase this Canadian linseed and thus help to satisfy the need at the present time for increased supplies.

Dr. Summerskill

Unfortunately the dollar shortage prevents us from buying Canadian linseed.

Mr. De la Bère

Is the right hon. Lady not aware that linseed is the greatest asset in increasing milk production and is of vital necessity throughout the country for cattle feedingstuffs and other uses; and why not buy the linseed instead of some of the other things that we are buying today? Linseed should be priority No. 1. Why not do something about it?

Dr. Summerskill

I am aware that the country would like more linseed, but the hon. Gentleman has forgotten one very important point: that America has declared linseed a surplus commodity, and that therefore we shall not be allowed to buy it from Canada with E.R.P. dollars.

Mr. De la Bèere

Then is it not possible to get an alteration, in view of the vital need of this country for linseed? Surely we are not to continue with this sort of thing indefinitely. We shall never recover if we continue under the handicap this treatment places on us.