§ Mr. LUNDON
asked the Food Controller if the price of Government butter has been raised from 2s. 4d. per lb. to 2s. 6d., and, if so, for what reason; whether it is proposed that the producers of home-made butter shall have a similar advance in price made; if so, will he state clearly whether Irish-made butter comes within the latter group; if not, why is it that the Irish farmer, who has less machinery at his disposal for butter making, and who has far greater expense to incur in marketing his produce, is struck at, considering that the butter he puts on sale is, and has been proved to be, far superior to any foreign stuff outside of Denmark and equal in every way to any butter manufactured in this country; and whether steps will be taken to see that equality of prices will prevail as between all sections of butter producers in the United Kingdom?
§ Mr. CLYNES
The retail price of Government butter was raised on the 16th936W September from 2s. 4d. to 2s. 6d. per lb., since it was found necessary to increase the price at which butter was sold by the Ministry of Food to the Trade by 2d. per lb. in order to cover the cost of the butter distributed. The price of butter produced in Great Britain was also increased by 2d. per lb. on 20th October. As regards Irish butter, it has been arranged that all the exportable surplus shall be purchased by the Ministry of Food, in order to secure adequate supplies and their equitable distribution in Great Britain under the rationing scheme. The price that has been given for Irish butter sold in bulk to the Ministry since the 1st August, 1918, is 245s. per cwt. f.o.r., which compares favourably with the average prices obtainable for butter by the producers in Great Britain.