HC Deb 12 March 1947 vol 434 cc1321-2
20. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what price is paid for Mauritius sugar bought by Britain; and whether he is satisfied that this price gives a sufficient return to enable the Mauritius planters and their employees to attain a satisfactory standard of life.

Mr. Creech Jones

The price to be paid by the Ministry of Food for the 1947 Mauritius sugar crop is £24 15s. 9d. per ton c.i.f. U.K. ports. I am satisfied that this increased price will give a reasonable return to planters and I am arranging for part of it to be set aside for rehabilitation of equipment and for price stabilisation in later years. Wages will share in the improved sugar price and it is also proposed to pay out of it a contribution towards labour welfare. But the main effort towards raising living standards must be concentrated on long-term schemes of development and welfare, to which I am giving attention.

Sir W. Smithers

Arising out of that answer, I should like to ask you, Mr. Speaker, a question. If the Secretary of State for the Colonies can give the price paid by this Government for bulk purchase, what means can I take to ensure that the Minister of Food will give similar information?

Mr. Speaker

I cannot really answer these technical questions. I have no knowledge of these things.