Cotton Purchases

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd March 1948.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport , Knutsford 12:00 am, 2nd March 1948

asked the President of the Board of Trade if it can yet be determined whether recent purchases of Egyptian cotton at high prices by the Raw Cotton Commission will involve that Commission in a loss; whether he is satisfied that they have adequate funds at their disposal to bear such losses; or whether he can make a statement with regard to this matter.

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Rochester Chatham

No. Sir. It will depend on the price at which the Raw Cotton Commission sells the cotton. It has adequate funds at its disposal to meet market fluctuations.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport , Knutsford

Will the accounts ever be published in detail, showing the profit or loss made on these transactions? Will the taxpayers ever know how much money is being lost?

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Rochester Chatham

This is a matter which will be published. It is for the Commission themselves to determine the selling price, and I see no grounds for supposing that it will be other than suitable to the taxpayer.

Photo of Sir Walter Fletcher Sir Walter Fletcher , Bury

Will the hon. Gentleman go into the question of purchases of raw cotton by a British organisation or joint organisation in Germany in competition with the home organisation, because there is the greatest confusion and loss created by the ridiculous method being used, in which each gets in the other's way?