Barley

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1954.

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Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton 12:00 am, 3rd May 1954

asked the Minister of Food what steps he is taking in the interests of British growers of malting barley to ensure that malt for brewing beer is manufactured wholly from homegrown barley.

Photo of Mr Gwilym Lloyd George Mr Gwilym Lloyd George , Newcastle upon Tyne North

I understand that the brewers have voluntarily agreed to use malt made wholly from home-grown barley in the current cereal year and during 1954–55 to use malt comprising not less than 90 per cent. of home-grown barley for brewing beer for the home market and not less than 80 per cent. for export beer.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Do not these figures indicate that there has been a cut in the extent to which the brewing industry will use British-grown malting barley? As there is to be a cut of 11s. per quarter for this year's harvest, and as there is no restriction whatever on the importation of barley, does this not indicate a rather bleak and dubious prospect for the growers of British quality barley?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Lloyd George Mr Gwilym Lloyd George , Newcastle upon Tyne North

Apparently, the growers do not think so. The agreement to which I have referred was made by the Brewers' Society, the National Farmers' Union and several other societies representing both brewers and growers. Among other things, the agreement provided that the National Farmers' Union should use every possible effort towards the production of the better types of barley suitable for malting.

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend consult the Chancellor to ascertain whether it would be possible to institute some form of tariff on imported barley which might act as a deterrent to its use for brewing purposes so that we might thus maintain that outlet largely for the British crop?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Lloyd George Mr Gwilym Lloyd George , Newcastle upon Tyne North

I am reluctant to do anything to interfere with an agreement voluntarily entered into by all the parties concerned.

Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Dartford

asked the Minister of Food what action has been taken to ensure that the price and conditions of sale of barley held by his Department will attract the necessary buyers to clear the stocks; and what proportion has already been sold.

Photo of Mr Gwilym Lloyd George Mr Gwilym Lloyd George , Newcastle upon Tyne North

We have secured the close co-operation of the trade in the disposal of Ministry stocks. I am confident that the arrangements we have made will ensure that our prices and conditions of sale remain attractive to buyers. Of the home-grown barley purchased by my Department up to the 29th April, 1954, over 55 per cent. has been sold.

Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Dartford

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman satisfied with the attitude of the larger manufacturers of animal feedingstuffs? Are they giving the support that he would like?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Lloyd George Mr Gwilym Lloyd George , Newcastle upon Tyne North

I am very happy to have an opportunity of saying that I am more than satisfied. We have had the fullest co-operation. They have been most helpful.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give an assurance that he will have disposed of the 45 per cent. balance on last year's crop before this year's crop comes forward, without incurring ruinous losses by cutting the price, which he has had to do very considerably during the last month or two?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Lloyd George Mr Gwilym Lloyd George , Newcastle upon Tyne North

That is incorrect. The hon. and gallant Gentleman need not lose any sleep over the situation, for it is quite all right.