§ 1. "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £450,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for a Subsidy on Sugar and Molasses manufactured from Beet grown in Great Britain."
§ 2. "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £50,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for a Gi.ant-in-Aid of the Forestry Fund."
§ First Resolution read a Second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
Some of us were quite unaware until this moment that we were going to take the Report stage of this Vote to-night, and it is, therefore, rather' difficult for us to discuss the matter as we would have wished I am aware at the same time that it is difficult to debate on Report stage the very wide range of questions which arise, as this additional sum has been granted as a payment to an industry which is being established on the principle of a Measure already passed by this House. There are one or two points, however, which we were unable to cover during the Committee stage. One thing about which some of us are very concerned is. that while the House is being asked to vote an additional sure of 2460,000 in respect of the sugar-beet subsidy, we are faced at the same time with a rise in price of sugar. Since the time when the subsidy was first granted, the price of sugar has gone up from about 14e. a. cwt. to between 18s. and 19s., yet we are paying the same fiat rate of subsidy. I very much deprecate the fact that no arrangement was made under which, if the market price increased to a very large extent, there should be a corresponding advantage to the Treasury in the payment of the subsidy. It means that those 1250 to whom the subsidy is being paid are now enabled to get an increased market price and yet retain the same flat-rate subsidy from the Exchequer. That seems to be uneconomic, and I suggest to the: Financial Secretary to the Treasury that there should be some reconsideration of the position. If there is a flat-rate subsidy, it is unfair to the taxpayers that the people who are getting it should also be able to get the subsidy at the present rate. I do not suggest that they are doing anything unfair or wrong, but it enables them to benefit to the extent of the rise in price. Because of the arrangement which has been made, I cannot debate the matter at any greater length now, but I hope before the next stage in connection with this subsidy the Treasury will give the matter some attention.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Second Resolution agreed to.