§ 56. Mr. Charles White
asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the reluctance of farmers to maintain the war-time acreages of sugar beet, believing that the recent shipments of sugar to France do not indicate any shortage here; and whether he has any statement to make on the matter.
§ Sir B. Smith
The feeling to which my hon. Friend refers is based on a misapprehension. The recent shipments of sugar to France were by way of loan and are being repaid out of allocations made to France by the Combined Food Board. On the best estimate that can be made, world supplies of sugar in 1946will be no more than sufficient to maintain the present rates of world consumption. Home production from war-time acreages has provided this country with about 30 per cent. of its total requirements. In view of the world supply outlook it would be premature to contemplate a reduction in sugar beet acreage.