HC Deb 19 July 1915 vol 73 cc1181-2
6. Mr. NIELD

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he authorised the letter of the Royal Commission on Sugar Supply, dated the 2nd June, 1915, in which a rebate of 1s. per hundredweight was announced upon sugar purchased on or after the 1st June last, either directly or indirectly, from the stocks put upon the market by the Royal Commission through its authorised agents; and, if so, what is the reason for giving such rebate to confectioners, chocolate manufacturers, and jam makers and withholding it from other sugar users and from the grocery trade; for what purpose was that special rebate made; and what is the reason for giving it to a protected industry at a time when the Prime Minister and other Members of the Government are urging a policy of thrift upon all classes of the community, or is public money to be regarded as being outside the sphere of such exhortations?


The rebate was given to the trade which competes with foreign sugared goods imported into this country, in order to put it upon a footing of equality with its foreign competitors. The rebate represents the difference in the average price at which sugar could have been bought forward to supply the British market and the actual price at which it is now sold. A further consideration arose out of the fact that the sugar using trade has a large export business and would have had a claim to a rebate on export unless sugar was sold to them at the price at which it could have been generally obtained by forward purchase.


Do I understand that the rebate is confined entirely to those trades which have an export business and because of the export business?


It is confined to those trades which have to compete with foreign imported goods and which have an export business.