asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that some wool storage sheds have been erected in the port of Hull; whether the cost has been borne by the Government; if he can state if his Department is responsible for this expenditure, what the cost has been, and what the storage capacity of the sheds will be; and if his Department will consider applications from other port authorities for the same facilities?
The wool storage sheds referred to by the hon. Member are being erected by the Hull Joint Dock Committee, at their own expense, but some wool showing sheds, capable of exhibiting 25,000 bales per month, are in course of erection at Hull, for the Ministry of Munitions, the cost of which will be borne by the Colonial Wool Account, for the joint charge of the Imperial Government and the Dominions concerned. These showing sheds will be revenue-producing, and the disbursement on account of them to date has been £35,000. It is not thought that it will prove necessary to provide still further showing accommodation at any other port.
Is it not the fact that private enterprise has offered to provide these sheds, and that their cost to the country cannot be less than £145,000 or £150,000, and that the control of wool runs to September?
The gross liability to the Imperial Exchequer will be £62,500, and it is estimated that the greater part of it will be soon wiped out by the extra prices that will be obtained from the bales when shown than from bales, as happens now, which cannot be shown, and have to be taken on trust.