§ 44. Mr. JOHNSTON
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, seeing that the terms on which financial assistance is given to the English Sugar-beet Corporation, Limited, require that a percentage of the corporation's contracts shall he placed in this country, he can say in which country the corporation has placed its contract for one million jute sugar bags for the year 1927?
There is no statutory provision which compels beet-sugar factory companies to obtain their requirements in this country, other than that laid down in the British (Subsidy) Act, 1925, which requires that not less than 75 per cent. of the plant and machinery installed in the factories shall be manufactured in Great Britain. I have, therefore, no power to intervene in the placing of contracts for jute bags. I am, however, informed that the English Beet-sugar Corporation has purchased 1,918,000 sugar and pulp bags for the coming manufacturing campaign on behalf of itself and the other factories in the Anglo-Dutch group. Of this number, I understand, that 1,218,000 bags were purchased from British firms and the balance from Dutch firms.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Arising out of the last sentence of the answer, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether those purchases from British firms relate to bags produced in this country or whether British firms are purchasing, or may purchase, these bags abroad?
I understand they are bags of British production. As a matter of fact, they are from ½d. to ld. dearer than the foreign bags, but, naturally, I am doing everything in my power to encourage these companies, where possible, to obtain all their requirements in this country.