§ Mr. LESLIE SCOTT
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture how the present supply of home-grown and foreign oats, imported or contracted for, compares with February of the years 1914 and 1918?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
No returns of the stocks of grain were officially obtained prior to the outbreak of war, when the Board of Agriculture instituted the present system of periodical returns, but it is estimated that the quantity of oats on the farms of the United Kingdom in February, 1918, was about 3,000,000 quarters, and in February, 1919, about 6,000,000 quarters in excess of the quantity at the corresponding period of 1914, while stocks of imported oats held at the ports were in February, 1918, about 675,000, and in February, 1919, about 800,000 quarters in excess. No information is available as to oats contracted for by the trade in 1914. The Board are informed that contracts for foreign oats are made on behalf of the Allies jointly, and it is not possible to give the quantity contracted for on behalf of this country separately. I may, however, add that the quantity destined for the United Kingdom is at present negligible.