HC Deb 25 July 1938 vol 338 c2713
81. Mr. C. S. Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the basic export quota for Jamaican sugar under the arrangements made to implement the International Sugar Agreement; what was the actual export quota for that island in 1937–38; by what amount actual production will exceed that quota; how it is proposed to deal with this surplus; and whether arrangements can be made to avoid the necessity of compelling Jamaica to reduce her sugar crop for the coming year and so accentuate the unemployment which already exists in the island?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The International Sugar Agreement lays down a basic quota for the Colonial Empire as a whole. The distribution of this total between the various Colonies is a matter entirely within the jurisdiction of His Majesty's Government. The export quota allotted to Jamaica in 1937–38 was 86,000 tons and a further quota of 16,600 tons has since been allotted to the colony. It is estimated that only a very small quantity of sugar will remain to be carried forward to next year. As regards the last part of the question, I am not yet able to say what quota it will be possible finally to allot to Jamaica for the coming year, but I am keeping in mind the consideration to which my hon. Friend draws attention.

Sir Nairne Stewart Sandeman

Is it not the case, in connection with sugar-growing in Jamaica, that a great many acres are going out of cultivation?

Mr. MacDonald

A great many have gone out of cultivation compared with some periods in the past, but at present we are maintaining the acreage, and I hope we shall be able to continue to do so in the forthcoming year.