HC Deb 05 July 1951 vol 489 cc2486-7
41. Commander Maitland

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the cost of a ton of hinder twine in 1939, 1945 and at the last convenient date.

Mr. Rhodes

The price of binder twine was £41 10s. per ton in 1939 and £83 per ton in 1945. The price for the current season to 30th September. 1951, is £269 per ton.

Commander Maitland

To what does the Minister attribute this astonishing rise in price? Does he realise that a ton of binder twine, which is about what is used on 1,000 acres of ordinary Eastern counties arable land, costs more than the amount paid to an agricultural worker for one year?

Mr. Rhodes

Yes. Sir. The principle rise is in the raw materials, which cost £17 per ton in 1939 and £45 per ton in 1945 and now costs £243 per ton.

Brigadier Prior-Palmer

Am I right in assuming that binder twine is made of sisal? If it is, is it not possible for some substitute material to be found to meet this appalling problem?

Mr. Rhodes

Sisal is the principal component in binder twine.