§ Mr. HOLMES
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the amount of the temporary financial accommodation provided last autumn by the Treasury to assist the Agricultural Wholesale Society, Limited, a private trading company, which had made heavier purchases than the company could finance owing to a considerable fall in the market values; and whether the loan in question has now been repaid?
§ Mr. McCURDY
I have been asked to reply. During the summer of 1919, when a shortage of imported feeding stuffs was anticipated, the Agricultural Wholesale Society agreed, at the wish of the Government, to retain for this country certain supplies secured by them in America. When a fall of prices subsequently occurred the society claimed that these stocks should be taken over by the Government at cost price. While this claim could not be admitted, the Ministry agreed, at the request of the Board of Agriculture, and in view of the fact that the society had acted in good faith, to take up the supplies on their arrival in this country and to realise them for the account of the society. The amount of the temporary financial accommodation provided under this arrangement is, approximately, £250,000. Part of the stocks have now been realised, and the adjustment of financial liability is under consideration.