HC Deb 11 April 1928 vol 162 cc1226-7W
Lieut.-Colonel MASON

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that some 450,000 per annum is being remitted abroad to pay for the warehousing, cold storage and insurance of hops which have been bought by British brewers; whether he will permit foreign hops of the 1922 crop to he imported into this country in bond, so that the money now remitted abroad to the advantage of foreign warehousemen might be spent in this country, thereby helping the employment of British rather than foreign labour?


The Hap Controller is not at present allowing the import of foreign hops into this country, and I am informed that certain merchants who have sold foreign hops to brewers have in consequence to warehouse these hops abroad until the transaction can be completed. I have no information, however, as to the quantity of hops so warehoused abroad. I regret that some loss is being incurred by the merchants in consequence of the prohibition, but at the same time I should point out that it must have been well known to them that the import of foreign hops is prohibited except by licence of the Hop Controller, and that such licence was liable to be withheld at any time. The position of the hop industry is sufficiently serious fully to justify the Hop Controller in the course he has takes.. There are at present over 120,000 cwts. of foreign hops in bond in this country, and there is, in addition, a considerable surplus of the English 1922 crop over requirements. To these circumstances to admit into this country further quantities of foreign hops which cannot he released to the trade for a very considerable period could only lead to difficulty and entail disappointment and loss in other directions. If my hon. and gallant Friend desires further information on any point of detail I shall be pleased ask the Hop Controller to furnish him with full particulars.