HC Deb 08 March 1951 vol 485 cc661-2
54. Colonel Ropner

asked the Minister of Agriculture on what grounds he has decided to increase the price of sugar beet pulp by £2 a ton; whether he consulted the growers' association; and whether he is aware that the decision was announced after the majority of contracts for the year's pulp had been signed.

60. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware of the concern which is being caused by the decision to increase the price of sugar beet pulp by £2 a ton, especially in view of the fact that this decision was not made known until after a large number of contracts for the year's pulp had been signed; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy the position.

Mr. T. Williams

I would refer the hon. and gallant Members to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, South-West (Mr. Dye), on 1st March. The growers' representatives were consulted, and I was also aware that the majority of the contracts for growing this year's beet crop had been signed. Although these give the growers the option of buying pulp at prices to be announced by the British Sugar Corporation before 16th September, 1951, no contracts for the purchase of the pulp itself have yet been signed.

Colonel Ropner

When the right hon. Gentleman says that the growers were consulted, does he mean that there were official consultations with representatives of the growers' association?

Mr. Williams

There was official consultation with the National Farmers' Union, who were themselves anxious that we should make an announcement of the forthcoming increase in price.