HC Deb 08 December 1953 vol 521 cc1787-8
20. Mr. F. Willey

asked the President of the Board of Trade what control he exercises over the import of barley from dollar sources.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Barley may at present be imported freely from all sources under open individual licence valid for six months at a time but issued in advance so as to allow traders to make forward contracts. These licences do not set a limit on the amount which may be imported, but each trader has to report his imports and commitments to the Ministry of Food.

Mr. Willey

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that the Government are in an awful mess about barley and that he really ought to be more helpful to the Minister of Food?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I think that this is the most satisfactory basis on which to do this.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is there no limit to the amount of dollars that are to be spent on this commodity and in that way gravely affect our balance of trade?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Imports of this nature are made on individual licences.