§ 31. Mr. FORREST
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he has received any returns giving the profits made by the British sugar-beet factories during the past season; and, if so, whether he will state what these profits are?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Guinness)
As I informed the hon. Member for South Bradford (Mr. Hirst) on 30th March last, the balance sheets of the factory companies for the 1925–26 season should be available for presentation about the end of June next.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of these companies is now in the hands of the Official Receiver?
§ 30. Mr. CECIL WILSON (for Mr. JOHNSTON)
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether any of the new beet-sugar factories in Britain have been financed by the Dutch group of financiers which owns the Cantley Factory; and what assistance, if any, these factories have received under the Trade Facilities Act?
§ Mr. GUINNESS
I understand that some of the Dutch investors in the English Beet Sugar Corporation,, Limited, which owns the Cantley Factory, are associated with the Dutch Group who have invested in the Ely Beet Sugar Factory, Limited, and the Ipswich Beet Sugar Factory, Limited, which own the Ely and Ipswich factories respectively. None of these companies has applied for or received assistance under the Trades Facilities Act.
§ 34. Colonel DAY
asked the Minister of Agriculture if, by an agreement with the National Farmers Union and the beet factory owners, unemployed farm workers are debarred from obtaining employment at such factories; and will he take such action as will result in throwing open employment in these subsidised factories?
§ Mr. GUINNESS
According to my information, it is the practice of the beet sugar factories, when engaging labour, to give preference to those who are found among the ranks of the genuine unemployed. As regards the last part of the question, I have no authority to interfere with the discretion of employers as to the selection of their workers.