HC Deb 21 March 1932 vol 263 cc689-91
34. Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many of the beet-sugar factories now operating in Great Britain produce raw and white sugar, respectively; what was the total output of raw and white sugar from British beet during the last season; and how the proportion of raw to white output for that season compares with 1926–27?

The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Sir John Gilmour)

Of the 18 beet-sugar factories operating in Great Britain in the 1931–32 season, seven produced only raw sugar, nine produced only white sugar (exclusive of small quantities of after-product sugar of lower polarisations) and two produced both raw and white sugar. The total production of beet sugar in that season was 251,400 tons, including 139,300 tons of raw sugar and 112,100 tons of white sugar. The output of raw sugar in 1926–27 and 1931–32 represented 11.7 per cent. and 55.4 per cent. of the total quantities of sugar produced in those seasons respectively.


asked the Minister of Agriculture what has been the value of sugar-beet seed imported from foreign sources during each year since the Beet Sugar Subsidy Act became law?


I regret I am unable to give my hon. Friend the information for which he asks.

38. Major CARVER

asked the Minister of Agriculture what has been the total amount, during the period in which the British Sugar (Subsidy) Act has been in operation, which has been received by the farmers in respect of their beet over and above their approximate expenses in producing these beets; and how this amount of profit to the farmers compares with the aggregate amounts allocated during the same period by the factories to profits, reserves, and depreciation?


The aggregate amounts received by growers for their beet crops, without allowing for the value of residuals, during the subsidy period up to and including the 1930–31 season exceeded by about £4,500,000 the approximate total production casts, calculated on the basis of figures from representative farms compiled annually by the Institute for Research in Agricultural Economics at Oxford University. The balance sheets of the beet sugar companies show that, up to 31st March, 1931, the sums placed to reserve, applied to depreciation, distributed as dividends and retained as un-appropriated balances amounted to about £6,500,000.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say what proportion that sum bears to the total value of the sugar produced?


I should prefer the hon. Member to put that question on the Order Paper.

46. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Prime Minister whether he can give an assurance that the question of evolving an Empire sugar policy will be on the agenda for the Ottawa Conference; and, if not, whether he will consider taking some other immediate action to evolve a more satisfactory sugar policy for Great Britain, in view of the experience which has now been gained from subsidising sugar-beet in this country and giving a limited measure of preference to sugar from Colonial sources?


In reply to the first part of the question I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Miss Cazalet), on the 25th February. In reply to the second part, the whole question of sugar is now under consideration by His Majesty's Government and I am not in a position to make any statement at present.


When considering an Empire sugar policy will the right hon. and gallant Member also consider an Empire coal policy?

59. Commander MARSDEN

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the amount of white sugar produced last year by the Cupar factory from British beet and from imported raw sugar, respectively; and what is the amount of loan money guaranteed under the Trade Facilities Acts outstanding in respect of this factory?

The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Major Sir Archibald Sinclair)

The amount of white sugar produced from British beet during the last manufacturing season by the Cupar factory was 545 tons 6 cwts. I regret I cannot give the information desired with respect to the amount produced from imported raw sugar. As regards the last part of the question a guaranteed loan of £865,000, which is not allocated to particular factories, was advanced under the Trade Facilities Acts to the Second Anglo-Scottish Beet-Sugar Corporation Limited for the erection of three beet-sugar factories including Cupar, and of this amount £123,600 has been repaid by the Company.

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