My Lords, I rise to ask His Majesty's Government when British owners of wool will be permitted to sell it. It is now about two months since an embargo was put upon the sale of British wool. I fancy that in the meantime Colonial wool has been sold in London, and the unfortunate British farmer is pressing to know when he may be able to sell his wool. I hope my noble friend will be able to give an answer to this Question.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
My Lords, I could give an answer in a few words, but possibly the noble Lord might like to have some explanation of what has been done. The answer to the Question is that arrangements for purchasing the 1916 clip will be 1037 completed within the next few days, and that purchases of wool on behalf of the Department are already taking place in certain districts. What has been done is this. Arrangements for handling the wool of the 1916 clip are being completed this week. Purchases of wool are already being made in the Midlands (No. 4 area) List A. Farmers in England and Wales have received census forms and explanatory leaflets of instructions. These are now being returned in considerable numbers. Local advisory committees have been selected in the majority of districts, consisting of three wool merchants and three farmers. Authorised wool merchants are being selected to purchase on behalf of the Department in each area; and as soon as the farmer returns his census, instructions are given to the authorised merchants to proceed to take over the wool.