10 MAY 1935, Page 27


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—The dumping of Continental flour into this country should.receive very earnest consideration. It is probably not generally realized that this flour is sold in competition with British flour at approximately a quarter of the price at which it is sold in the countries from which it conies.

The poultry feeders and the pig breeders have protested, and the Unionist Agricultural Committee is of one mind on the subject. But so far nothing has been accomplished. Mean- while the British millers are losing their market for wheat offals, and this continental flour, particularly that from France, milled from the same soft wheat as we grow in this country, is rapidly taking from them the biscuit market.

The British miller is equipped to mill all the flour we need, including the additional supplies of home grown wheat resulting from the operation of the Wheat Act of 1932, but in the cir- cumstances it is impossible for him to compete. The price which he has to meet is sometimes less than that which his British wheat costs him, and it is clear that an ad valorem tariff would be of little use, for the lower the price falls the less is the restrictive action on such a tariff.

Dumping of this kind can be approved by no one. What is necessary is the swift application of specific duties if the milling industry of this country is not to be very seriously