§ 54. Mr. BARNES
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the amount owing at this date to the Treasury on advances to the Anglo-Scottish beet-sugar companies under the Trade Facilities Acts; why the regular repayment instalments have not been made; whether any offer to repay has recently been made arising from the proposed amalgamation of beet-sugar companies; and whether he will give details of the arrangements for this repayment?
The Treasury has made payments in respect of loans of these companies guaranteed under the Trade Facilities Acts totalling £948,000. These payments represent redemption instalments which the companies were unable to meet from their own resources. Proposals are now under discussion for the repayment in full, subject to the Sugar Industry (Reorganisation) Bill becoming law, of the outstanding balances of the guaranteed loans made to this group which are still due to the lenders, and of the amounts due to the Treasury, but I am not yet in a position to give details.
§ Mr. BARNES
Will the right hon. Gentleman explain how it is that these companies which have so far failed to meet their obligations to the Treasury, are suddenly able to do so in consequence of the Sugar Reorganisation Bill?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Are we to understand from the reply that the owners of these factories expect to receive so much money out of the new co-operation that they will be able to repay what they could not pay when they were running without co-operation?
Does it mean that there is a subsidy to companies as well as to growers of sugar-beet?
If the Bill did not become law, the position of the companies might be that they would have to be valued on a break-up basis. If, however, the Bill becomes law, the companies will be valued on the basis of a going concern. That will completely alter the situation, and I have very little doubt that they will be able to make arrangements under which the Treasury will obtain full repayment.