§ Mr. Rankin
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what price is paid for British Guiana rice and copra by the Rice 94W Marketing Board and the Copra Brokers Board; and how this price compares with the market value of these products in Canada and the U.S.A.
Mr. Creech Jones
The price paid for better quality rice by the British Guiana Rice Board is approximately £18s 18s. 6d. a ton and the price paid for copra by the Copra Brokers Board is £32 16s. a ton. The American market price ex mill for American rice of a comparable and perhaps rather superior quality has advanced in the past to weeks from £37 16s. to over £50. The American purchase price for copra which was about £26 f.o.b. a ton for Philippine copra up to a month ago has since the lifting of controls advanced to nearly £50. Canadian purchases of copra are divided between other Western Pacific sources where the price is about £28 and the Philippines where the price has reached the figure stated above.
All British Guiana copra is consumed locally and the price was raised in July on the recommendations of a Committee appointed by the Government. The selling price of rice is about £24 15s. a ton, the crop being disposed of to other West Indian territories. Talks have recently taken place in the West Indies about the future price to be paid and a long-term contract is under negotiation.