HC Deb 26 February 1918 vol 103 cc1239-40
54. Mr. FIELD

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) what similar measures are being-taken in Ireland to promote beet growing and found a sugar factory according to the proposal taken up by the Board of Agriculture in England; whether the ratio of saccharine in Irish-grown beet is higher than that of most other countries; and whether the yield of roots per acre is greater?


Pending the result of the experimental measures adopted by the Board of Agriculture, no steps are being taken to promote beet growing or to found a sugar factory in Ireland on the lines of the scheme adopted in England. The Irish Department of Agriculture are of opinion that farmers would be well advised to produce the staple food crops on as large a scale as possible rather than attempt to raise comparatively untried crops. I am informed that sugar beet grown on experimental plots in Ireland was found to compare favourably in yield and sugar contents with beet grown in most other countries. I would further refer the hon. Member to the very full answer given by the Chief Secretary to a question by the hon. Member for North Westmeath on this subject on 17th April last.

Brigadier-General CROFT

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, in the numerous places where it has been tried in Ireland, Ireland has been found most suitable for the production of sugar beet; and is it not a fact that there is no need for further experiment in beet sugar manufacture because we have the evidence of the whole world?


I said in my answer that Irish sugar beet had been found to be very satisfactory in its composition, and I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to answer to the question given on 17th April by the Chief Secretary.