HC Deb 08 December 1920 vol 135 cc2131-2W

asked the Minister of Food whether, with reference to the sale of New Zealand new season's lambs to speculators and at a profit to the British Government, he will explain how the rate of exchange between this country and New Zealand makes it necessary for the Government to charge 13d. per 1b. for a much worse class of cut lambs whilst the best class of whole lambs can be sold wholesale in America at 9d. per 1b. and even less; and whether he will secure for the British consumers as good treatment as the Americans?


The price of New Zealand lamb in this country is fixed by the Food Controller at the lowest level to the consumer consistent with the avoidance of loss to the taxpayer. As all transactions relating to this meat are on a sterling basis, no question of any rate of exchange is involved. As has been already stated, the price at which New Zealand mutton and lamb can be sold in America obviously depends upon the relative value of the pound sterling and the dollar at the time of the purchase by American buyers. Any comparison of the wholesale prices in the United States and in this country which does not take account of this is wholly irrelevant.