§ Mr. HANNON
asked the Minister of Agriculture the actual quantity of the 1923 English hop crop taken over by the Hop Controller; ho w many hundredweights of this crop were taken at 35s. per cwt.; how many at £13 per cwt.; the average price per cwt. of imported hops; and whether, in view of the widespread dissatisfaction that exists amongst the hop growers of this country, he will arrange for the Hop Controller to publish a balance sheet annually?1917W
§ Mr. BUXTON
The total quantity of the 1923 English hop crop which was taken over by the Hop Controller amounted to 236,730 cwts., of which 232,740 cwts. were taken at an average price of £13 a cwt. The remaining 3,992 cwts. represented hops which had been picked in excess of the quantity allocated to the growers and were surrendered to the Control without payment. As a concession, however, the Hop Controller allowed anex gratia contribution to be made in respect of these hops at the rate of 35s. a cwt. towards the expenses of picking, etc. The average price of hops imported into this country in 1923, as shown in the Trade and Navigation Accounts, is approximately £9 a cwt. With regard to the last part, I have already explained that the accounts of the Hop Control are not public accounts, and that consequently I do not propose to publish them. The Hop Control is to be regarded as a trade pool and its accounts treated in the same way as those of commercial undertakings.