HC Deb 03 June 1930 vol 239 cc1983-4W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has now the information with regard to the fact that the Grain Stabilisation Company, which is the commercial agent of the United States Federal Farm Board, has made arrangements for 100,000,000 bushels of wheat to be milled by United States millers and exported within the next five months; and, seeing that the largest proportion of this flour will find its way to the United Kingdom, whether he intends to take any steps to obviate the detrimental effect which such importation of foreign wheat is bound to have on British farmers and millers?


My right hon. Friend understands that in an attempt to equalise prices at the sea-board and the interior, the Grain Stabilisation Corporation has sold some wheat to interior millers at its export value—that is, what it could have been sold for if sold for export on the same day. It appears that there had accumulated at the sea-board large stocks of wheat for export, which were not being moved owing to the slight demand, and the holders of this surplus wheat were offering it for sale at a price lower than that for which wheat could be delivered to sea-board from interior markets. This situation placed the millers at interior points at a disadvantage as compared with millers located at the sea-board who had access to the surplus stock, and also as compared with millers abroad who had a like opportunity of buying the stock at a price less than its comparative value at interior points. The Grain Stabilisation Corporation accordingly bought up 3,000,000 bushels of this wheat and disposed of it, at a small profit. My right hon. Friend understands that at, no time has any wheat been sold to interior millers or to millers at the seaboard at a price below that at which foreign millers could buy the same wheat at the sea-board or at the world market level. He has no information regarding the suggestion that it was a condition that the flour milled from the wheat sold by the Grain Stabilisation Corporation should be exported within the next five months.