HC Deb 18 June 1934 vol 291 cc150-1

10.21 p.m.

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)

I beg to move, in page 2, line 33, to leave out "and," and to insert: exceed three hundred and seventy-five thousand tons and shah not in any. The effect of this Amendment would be to increase during the current year—and during the current year only—the number of sugar certificates by 15,000, and the reason for the Amendment is to meet the particular case of Mauritius, which would otherwise actually suffer a loss under the change-over in the two systems. I can put the point very briefly. The House will remember that when the Chancellor of the Exchequer explained the proposal to the House, the object of the changeover system was to give to each Colony exactly the same financial benefit as it would have enjoyed if the original system of both the flat rate of preference and the certificate had existed, but he and I found, on going into the case of all the different colonies in detail, that a change over on that basis would actually inflict injustice in the case of Mauritius, and that Mauritius would get less than she would have got if the original system had remained in force. That is so for two reasons. In the first place Mauritius happens to have had exceptionally small sugar imports into the United Kingdom in the last two years, and in the second place, there is an abnormally large carry-over in Mauritius. She has retained in Mauritius a larger amount than the ordinary carry over in an ordinary year. That she would naturally do in anticipation that the five-year plan, if I may so put it, would have run for the whole five years. Applying both those tests you get, as a matter of fact, roughly the same result that she is deprived, or would be deprived if the Clause went through in its original form, of getting £l a ton on about 45,000 tons. By putting in this special provision for this one year only she will be able to recoup that by having 15,000 certificates, and therefore will come out level on the deal which was the object the House had in view in making the change.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 2, line 33, leave out "years," and insert "year."—[Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister.]