§ 82. Mr. Keenan
asked the Minister of State, Board of Trade, as representing the Minister of Materials, if he is aware that at the recent sale of Sudan cotton the whole of the cotton offered was bought up by the Egyptian merchants at prices which the Liverpool buyers would not pay; and what action he proposes to take to prevent Egyptian merchants purchasing all Sudan cotton, and so preventing it coming to Lancashire spinners.
84 and 85. Mr. H. Wilson
asked the Minister of State, Board of Trade, as representing the Minister of Materials, (1) if he is aware of the loss to this country of a substantial quantity of Sudanese cotton as a result of purchases by Egyptian buyers; and what steps he is taking to ensure an adequate supply of Sudanese cotton to meet Lancashire's needs in 1954–55;
(2) Whether he is permitting the Raw Cotton Commission at present to buy Sudanese cotton for the needs of the 199W Lancashire cotton industry; and what instructions or guidance he has given to the Commission about such purchases.
I understand that most of the comparatively small quantity of cotton offered at the recent auction in Khartoum was bought by export merchants who are resident in Egypt. Several of these firms are now offering the same cotton for re-sale to importers in Europe, including the United Kingdom. The Raw Cotton Commission and other United Kingdom importers are free to buy Sudanese cotton as they think fit, and my noble Friend is not prepared to advise them on the exercise of their commercial judgment.