HC Deb 31 May 1951 vol 488 cc42-4W
Sir W. Smithers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount of stocks of cotton, wool, tea, sugar, meat, rubber, tin, copper, grains, lead and zinc, sold in the years April, 1948, to April, 1949, and April, 1949 to April, 1950, respectively; and the amount received for the sale of these stocks, giving in each case profit or loss on each transaction, and basing the estimate of such profit or loss on the average cost of the stocks less the price realised on sale.

Mr. J. Edwards

I assume that the hon. Member's Question refers to trading on Government account. For the reasons given in answer on 7th May to a similar Question put down by the hon. and learned Member for Northwich (Mr. J. Foster), the information asked for cannot be given in the form requested. The following table, however, gives total sales of the commodities concerned by quantity and value, and the profit or loss on the basis adopted in the published trading accounts. The quantity and value figures are not in all cases comparable.

(1st April, 1948 to 31st March, 1950)
1948–49 1949–50
Commodity Sales (a) Profit (+) or Loss (−) Sales (a) Profit (+) or Loss (−)
Quantity Value Quantity Value
£ £ £
tons tons
Tin (b) (c) (d) 90,568 46,404,783 +865,953 63,582 36,464,209 +1,381,108
Copper (b) (c) 352,187 47,265,091 +3,892,759 325,131 43,682,988 +1,761,355
Lead (b) (c) 169,683 16,051,295 +796,055 157,573 15,183,736 −1,981,860
Zinc (b) (c) 208,587 bales 17,164,324 +1,297,924 201,040 bales 16,452,727 −1,208,912
Cotton (e) 275,301 tons 4,633,048 −455,151 195,526 tons 3,126,124 +166,525
Rubber (k) 98,840 lb. 8,883,470 −2,791,460 6,518 lb. 583,197 +155,317
Wool (g) 69,000,000 tons 9,229,100 +241,727 82,000,000 tons 13,797,272 +1,735,065
Tea 189,101 51,535,683 −18,533,478 (h) 197,352 53,658,667 −15,129,824 (h)
Sugar (i) 2,875,484 89,722,842 −20,326,461 3,257,500 128,451,777 +14,770,001
Meat (j) 1,672,118 179,024,885 −57,520,653 (h) 1,718,917 243,477,311 −26,313,771 (h)
Cereals (k) (including flour) 8,137,545 177,825,783 −133,627,685 (h) 7,953,657 194,661,998 −97,925,670 (h)
NOTES.—(a) Sales figures include sales in the United Kingdom, shipments abroad ex United Kingdom stocks and direct shipments from countries of procurement.
(b) The quantities given cover the metals in their various specifications, including ores and concentrates.
(c) The profit or loss excludes administration charges and interest on capital, which are not apportioned to the individual non-ferrous metals in the published Trading Accounts.
(d) Trading in tin reverted to private channels on the re-opening of the London Metal Exchange on 15th November, 1949.
(e) Responsibility for raw cotton passed to the Raw Cotton Commission from 1st January, 1948, and the figures exclude transactions by or on behalf of the Commission. The quantity figures cover waste and linters. The quantity figures exclude but the value figures include some yarn transactions.
(f) The quantity figures cover crude, synthetic and scrap rubber. The quantity figures exclude but the value figures include silene and compounding materials.
(g) The quantity figures are approximate and cover raw wool from the home clip. Pelts are excluded from the quantity but included in the value figures.
Periods: 1948–49 …… May, 1948 to April, 1949. 1949–50 …… May, 1949 to April, 1950.
The figures exclude transactions by or on behalf of United Kingdom-Dominion Wool Disposals Ltd.
(h) The deficits represent subsidies after charging all expenses.
(i) The figures for sugar consist of sales for manufacture and the entrepôt trade as well as subsidised sales to the domestic consumer. The swing from a loss to a profit between 1948–49 and 1949–50 is largely due to the reduction in the import duty made in the 1949 Budget without a compensating reduction in the retail price of sugar. [OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th April, 1949; Vol. 463, c. 2094.]
(j) Includes poultry and rabbits.
(k) Deficits include subsidies paid direct to certain processors.