HC Deb 10 March 1932 vol 262 cc1974-5

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the aggregate amount of loan money to beet-sugar factories still outstanding under the Trade Facilities Act; and whether he will consider the advisability of taking steps to provide for the repayment of this amount out of the profits made by the beet-sugar industry before the conclusion of the subsidy period?


Out of £2,215,000 guaranteed to beet-sugar companies under these Acts, roughly £900,000 is due to be repaid to the lenders by instalments ending in 1938; and roughly £400,000 is due to the Exchequer in respect of payments made under the Treasury guarantees. Payment of the former amount cannot be accelerated and recoupment of the latter will be required in the normal course as and when the companies are in a position to discharge their debt.

Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the average dividend paid by these factories amounts to 14.7 per cent.?


I do not think that point is really relevant. The question is the dividend paid by the particular companies to which the money has been lent.

Viscountess ASTOR

Will the right hon. Gentleman take note of what is happening in regard to the beet-sugar subsidy, and does he not think we shall get into far greater difficulties with the wheat subsidy?

73. Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he can state approximately to what extent the acreage now devoted to sugar-beet has taken the place of acreage respectively devoted to other crops previous to the passing of the British Beet Sugar Subsidy Act?

The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Sir John Gilmour)

I regret that the information at my disposal does not enable me to estimate even approximately the extent to which sugar has supplanted other individual crops.


asked the Minister of Agriculture what is the average quantity of home-grown beet-sugar produced per acre of beet during the whole of the subsidy period to date; and how this amount compares with the yield of sugar per acre grown from cane in Jamaica, Trinidad, Natal, Queensland, and Java, respectively?


As this answer contains a number of figures I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The average quantity of sugar (all polarisations) produced per acre of sugar-beet grown in Great Britain during the subsidy period to date is 22.08 cwt. The average yields of sugar per acre of cane grown in the places mentioned in the second part of the question are:

The yields for British territories are calculated on the acreage and production figures given in the Statistical Abstract for the British Empire (Cmd. 3919), while the yield for Java is based on information given in the latest Report of the Department of Overseas Trade on Economic Conditions in the Netherlands East Indies.


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can state the origin of the raw sugar imported by the different beet-sugar factories in Great Britain during the season which is just ending; and whether any and, if so, how much of these supplies came from the British Colonies and/or the Dominions?


The imported raw sugar refined by British beet-sugar factories during the 1930–31 "off" season was obtained from the following sources: British West Indies, Mauritius, the Continent (mainly Poland and Germany), Cuba, Java, San Domingo and Surinam. Supplies from British West Indies and Mauritius amounted to 24,395 tons out of a total of about 195,000 tons.

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