HC Deb 09 March 1949 vol 462 cc1184-5
49. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Food why he is charging paint manufacturers in this country £180 a ton for linseed oil while competing firms in Germany are able to buy at £100 a ton.

Mr. Strachey

Our selling price for linseed oil, which has been reduced to £170 per ton from 6th March, is based on the cost of imported materials. I have no information about linseed oil prices in Germany.

Mr. Hurd

Can the right hon. Gentleman hold out any early hope that our own manufacturers will be allowed to buy at the world price?

Mr. Strachey

The prices at which we are buying linseed oil are tending to fall, and, of course, we shall pass on the benefit of that fall to our own manufacturers.

Sir Frank Sanderson

Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House of the amount purchased and the price paid in his recent purchases of linseed oil? In view of the fact that a further break in price is confidently anticipated, will he give the House an undertaking that he will enter into no long-term contracts, even with a break clause?

Mr. Strachey

I could not give such an undertaking, but I can assure the House that I am well aware of the consideration the hon. Member has in mind, and that we shall be most careful about future commitments in regard to this commodity.