§ 40. Mr. LEONARD
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what has been the total loss owing to defaults by sugar-beet companies under the Trade Facilities Acts; and what is the total outstanding liability of these companies to the Treasury under the Trade Facilities Acts?
§ Mr. COOPER
A sum of approximately £160,000, in respect of a company which has gone into liquidation, is definitely irrecoverable. The Treasury has made payments in respect of loans raised by other beet-sugar companies, totalling £929,900, which sum constitutes a secured debt from the companies concerned to the Treasury.
§ Mr. LEONARD
Has the hon. Gentleman seen a report of a speech by Lord Weir on behalf of the Anglo-Scottish company in which he indicates that the balance-sheets of the last two years show the assets of the company to have appreciated and its condition to be good; and, if that statement be correct, will he take 1657 steps to recover some of the £900,000 which the British Government have advanced to these companies?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House how it is that those beet-sugar factories to which the Government have advanced money have been unable to make these colossal profits?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
In view of the fact that all the factories, except those to which money has been advanced from the Treasury, did make colossal profits, can the hon. Gentleman explain how it is that all the losses have been incurred by those to which money was advanced?
§ Mr. LEONARD
If the company to which I have already referred is in such a good position as has been described, does not the hon. Gentleman think it is time that a start should be made with the repayment to the Exchequer of what that company has received?