§ 128. Mr. FORREST
asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of additional men actually engaged in connection with the sugar-beet industry; and whether the total indicates an addition of one manner 10 acres, as anticipated in the preliminary statements on the effect of the sugar subsidy?
Approximately 4,700 persons were employed in the production of sugar in the sugar-beet factories in Great Britain during the 1925–1926 manufacturing season, in addition to which over 6,000 persons found employment during 1926 in the erection of, and extensions to, beet-sugar factories. A certain number were also employed in the manufacture of machinery for the factories. No definite estimate can be made of the total additional number of workers employed by growers in the cultivation of sugar beet, but I am trying to obtain some information on the subject.
§ 129. Mr. FORREST
asked the Minister of Agriculture if, taking the different counties in which the sugar-beet industry is being organised, he can state the amount in each case paid to the farmers per ton of sugar beet supplied; and whether any representations have reached him, and, if so, of what nature, as to the inadequacy of the payment?
As stated in my reply on 22nd February to my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, the price paid to farmers for their beet is based on a sliding scale according to the average sale price of sugar produced by each factory, with an overriding minimum in the case of a contract for more than one year of 54s. per ton delivered factory for beets of 15½ per cent. sugar content, except that for last year only the minimum price was 49s. for new factories. In the case of a one-year 2596 contract, the statutory minimum of 44s. was paid. As in every case the price calculated on the average sale price of sugar has been less than the guaranteed minimum price, the farmers have been paid by every factory on the basis of 54s., 49s. or 44s. per ton respectively. I am not aware of any representations as to the inadequacy of these prices, which have been arrived at after negotiations between the factory companies and the National Farmers' Union.