§ 14. Mr. WILLS (for Mr. HANNON)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the general effect of the substantial increase in the preference on sugar on the cultivation of sugar cane in the West Indies; if he has any information as to whether the competitive power of Colonial sugar producers in world markets has restored general confidence in those islands; and if he anticipates a steady expansion in the production of Colonial sugar in the future?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The increased preferences granted to Colonial sugar last year were intended to assist the Colonial producers to obtain a price sufficient to cover their bare costs and to maintain their production, and I understand that the preferences have, in general, had that effect in the West Indian sugar-producing Colonies and that greater confidence has been restored in those Colonies; but they were not designed to encourage an expansion of the industry and no substantial expansion is expected in the near future.