HC Deb 03 February 1965 vol 705 cc1070-1
24. Sir Richard Glyn

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what quantity of maize has been imported into the United Kingdom in the three months to the last convenient date; how much this maize has cost and what proportion of the cost is represented in dollars; and if he will give the corresponding figures for the same periods in 1964 and 1963.

Mr. Hoy

During the last quarter of 1964 imports of maize amounted to 982,000 tons valued at £22.3 million. About three-quarters of this quantity was shipped direct from North America but the precise dollar cost cannot be calculated because the c.i.f. value includes freight. The quantities imported in the corresponding quarter of 1962 and 1963 were 1.07 million and 1..09 million tons valued at £20.9 million and £24.4 million respectively. Direct shipments from North America accounted for 74 per cent. and 67 per cent. of total imports in the last quarter of 1962 and 1963 respectively.

Sir Richard Glyn

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that the dollar cost of importing maize is showing an alarming increase? As we can do without imported maize, will he and his right hon. Friend consider whether the time has come when they should have a good look at this expensive import?

Mr. Hoy

The United States share of this import has remained fairly steady over the last two years. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman's suggestion about discrimination would meet with much approval from my right hon. Friend.