HC Deb 09 March 1925 vol 181 cc913-5

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has officials in his Department with a technical knowledge of beet-sugar growing; and, if so, whether he has given them instructions to get into touch with prospective growers of beet-sugar in this country?


Members of the Ministry's technical staff are familiar with the technique of sugar-beet cultivation and their advice is always available to growers in cases of difficulty. Generally speaking, however, prospective growers who feel themselves in need of advice on specific points not covered by the general instructions issued from the factories should consult the Agricultural Organiser of the county in the first instance. Further, there are technical advisers attached to each agricultural college whose function is to advise farmers in the area served by the college on fertilisers, soil management, diseases, etc.


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in any State financial support given to the beet-sugar industry in this country, it is the intention of the Government to require that the capital, labour, and machinery employed must be British?


Clause 2 (b) of the British Sugar (Subsidy) Bill provides that not less than 75 per cent. of the plant and machinery in the factory shall be wholly manufactured in this country, except in the case of factories already erected or where the Minister for some special reason decides to dispense with this condition. There are no special requirements as to capital and labour, but I may say that while in certain cases some of the capital is derived from Foreign sources, practically the whole of the labour is British, and with the exception of a few technical experts, is obtained from the neighbourhood of the factories.

28. Mr. BARNES

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will submit to the House a Return showing the amount of privately subscribed capital for the erection of sugar beet factories in Great Britain not covered by any guarantees under the Trade Facilities Act?


According to information supplied by the beet sugar factory companies, the amount of share capital so far subscribed privately or guaranteed to be so subscribed, excluding loans and mortgages, and any capital covered by guarantees under the Trade Facilities Acts, is £2,145,507, of which the amount actually paid up is £848,594.


Do I understand that is exclusive of loans?


Yes; my words were "excluding loans and mortgages, and any capital covered by guarantees under the Trade Facilities Acts."