Russian Grain (Imports).

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture. – in the House of Commons on 21st January 1931.

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Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

34.

asked the Minister of Agriculture Whether in view of the fact that in November 40 per cent. of the wheat that came here was from Soviet Russia and some was sold down to 22s. a quarter, he will say what steps he is taking to counteract the effect on British agriculture of these sudden importations?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

The cereal situation in this country is under examination, but I am not in a position at present to add anything to the reply on this subject given on behalf of the President of the Board of Trade on the 30th October to the hon. Member for Forfar (Sir H. Hope).

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

When will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give the House the results of his consideration?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

I cannot say at the moment.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL:

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, since this question was put on the Paper, the price of Russian wheat has further depreciated to 18s. 6d. a quarter; and what is going to be done for the British farmer?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

I am well aware of the price of Russian wheat.

Sir F. HALL:

Will you shut out Russian wheat?

Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Devizes

Did not the right hon. Gentleman give us an undertaking that, as soon as the Imperial Conference closed, we should have a definite statement of the Government's policy with regard to cereal agriculture?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

The statement was that as soon as the Conference closed we should take the matter into our consideration.

Photo of Mr Alexander Haycock Mr Alexander Haycock , Salford West

Are not the Soviet Government and Arcos getting just as high a price as they can?

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

35.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the decision of the Soviet Russian authorities to increase the exportable surplus of grain in 1931 from 10 per cent. to 25 per cent.; and what measures the Government intend to take to prevent dumping of this produce in the United Kingdom?

Photo of Sir George Gillett Sir George Gillett , Finsbury

I do not know the source of the hon. and gallant Member's figures, but I am aware that the Soviet Government are hoping to be able to increase the exportable surplus of grain. With regard to the second part of the question I would refer to the answer which I gave on 3rd November to a question by the hon. Member for Kingston-on-Thames (Sir G. Penny), a copy of which I am sending to the hon. and gallant Member.

Commander LOCKER-LAMPSON:

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this export can only be increased by starving Russian nationals?

Photo of Sir George Gillett Sir George Gillett , Finsbury

No, Sir; I am not aware that that is so.

HON. MEMBERS:

You ought to be!

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Are you taking any steps to find out?

Photo of Mr Edward Wise Mr Edward Wise , Leicester East

Is my hon. Friend aware that the statement made by the hon. Member opposite is entirely untrue?—[Interruption.]

Commander LOCKER-LAMPSON:

May we have an opportunity—[Interruption.] On a point of Order. An hon. Member has declared that the statement made by me is untrue. All that I ask is an opportunity later to prove that my statement was true. Can we have that opportunity?