HC Deb 13 February 1951 vol 484 cc193-4
40. Squadron Leader Burden

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the average price per pound paid by his Department for the 1950 Scotch wool clip; and what selling price was obtained by his Department.

Mr. T. Fraser

The overall average price paid for the 1950 clip in the United Kingdom was 27.05d. per pound. As the hon. and gallant Member knows, in accordance with the wool marketing scheme approved by Parliament last year, the clip is now being sold by auction under the authority of the British Wool Marketing Board. Prices have increased greatly in recent months and the latest figures range from 126d. to 153d. per pound.

Squadron Leader Burden

If this money is not being used for an equalisation fund, is it not obvious that a large profit is being made by the Government by monopolistic control and that the cost of living is thereby increased, while the difficulties of cloth manufacturers in the Highlands and Islands are being made much more severe?

Mr. Fraser

The hon. and gallant Member must not have heard me correctly. The wool is being sold by the British Wool Marketing Board, which is not an instrument of the Government but an instrument of the producers. If a profit is being made, it is being made by them.