HC Deb 06 December 1939 vol 355 cc660-1W
Mr. Macquisten

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is cognisant of the injurious effect upon the sheep industry of the failure of the Wool Control to reach any decision in regard to wool prices, which failure is preventing the skinners, tanners and wool merchants from purchasing or taking over any wools from farmers, leaves the wool on the farmer's hands and so deprives him of the use of the money which he should be receiving for it, and that the wool cannot be covered by ordinary insurance against war risks; and will he have the matters of price - fixing and taking-over accelerated?

Mr. W. Roberts

asked the Minister of Supply whether prices for British wools have now been fixed; and whether all the arrangements for the sale of wool by British farmers have been made so that farmers who are in need of ready money can proceed with the sale of their wool?

Mr. Burgin

British wool not in farmers' hands has been taken over by the Control. Consultations have been proceeding with the interests concerned regarding the procedure for taking over the wool in farmers' hands, and it is expected that all arrangements will be completed very shortly, and the War Risks Insurance (General Exceptions) (No. 3) Order made on the 3rd December removes farmers' products completely from war risk insurance.

Mr. Leach

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that a large proportion of the officials in the wool control are conducting private businesses of their own and using information acquired at the control for their private advantage; and will he consider the substitution of such officials by persons who have been thrown out of work by the control and who have no private interests to serve?

Mr. Burgin

No, Sir. The officers of the Control have all undertaken to cease active participation in any business connected with the industry. As I informed the hon. Member on 22nd November, I am ready to investigate any evidence of unfair practices by any officer of the Control. None has yet been produced to mc.

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