§ Mr. OAKLEY
asked the President of the Board of Trade the imports and exports of cement for the years 1913 and 1924?
The quantity and value of cement, calcareous, for building and engineering purposes, registered as imported into and exported from the United Kingdom during the years specified were as follow:
ment leased from the British and Argentine Meat Company the Las Palmas meat works at Las Palmas, on the Rio Parana, Argentina, formerly operated by James Nelson and Sons, Limited; that the British and Argentine Meat Company worked it on the Government's behalf; that a resolution was carried by the meat, bacon, and canned goods section of the Standing Committee on Trusts recommending that the Government should continue the lease, even after the decontrol of the Food Ministry, as a precaution against the danger of an Argentine meat trust, and that for nine months after 31st March, 1921, this course was adopted; can he give the financial results of the undertaking up to the decontrol of the Food Ministry on 31st March, 1921, and from the decontrol of the Food Ministry to the point at which it passed out of the Government's hands, respectively; and what was the reason for discontinuing the lease?51W
§ Sir B. CHADWICK
The answer to the first three parts of the question is in the affirmative. The Las Palmas contract showed a profit of £636,875 from its inception in 1915 to the cessation of the Food Ministry on 31st March, 1921. The contract was extended to the 31st December, 1922, and deliveries throughout the later period, when markets generally were falling, showed a loss of £280,875; and the continuation of this trading by the Government was not considered justifiable in the circumstances.