§ 99. Mr. LAWSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, when there were indications recently of a fall in wool prices, the Director of Wool Supplies agreed, at the request of the trade, to hold up supplies from the market; and, if not, will he explain what transpired at the meeting between representatives of the wool industry and the Director of Wool Supplies?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of MUNITIONS (Mr. J. Hope)
Immediately after the opening of the May-June series of auctions, the Colonial Wool Buyers' Association held a meeting representative of the home and foreign trade, at which a resolution was passed and forwarded to the Director-General of Raw Materials asking him to reduce the quantities of wool to be offered for sale on the grounds of the existing conditions of restricted credits and high rates of interest. The Department after careful inquiry satisfied itself that there was no prospect of the quantities origin- 649 ally announced finding buyers, and therefore curtailed the selling programme for June-July. At the sale at Liverpool on 24th June only 11,000 bales out of 30,000 bales displayed for sale were disposed of. Such interruptions of demand are not unusual, and sellers are accustomed to stage for sale only such quantities of wool as they may reasonably expect to sell.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Do I understand that the Director of Wool Supplies co-operates with the other people to hinder the expression of the lower prices on the actual market?
The business of the Director of Wool Supplies is to get the best price he can and relieve taxation. If he had put a lot of wool on the market without the reserve, doubtless some buyers would have been found, but experience shows that the benefit would not have gone to the consumers and the Revenue would have suffered.
§ Mr. D. HERBERT
Is it not a fact that if this wool had been thrown on the market it might have resulted in very serious financial panic and trouble?