HC Deb 24 June 1954 vol 529 cc571-2
18. Mr. Remnant

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether a decision has now been reached to build an additional sugar-beet factory in the South.

24. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Minister of Agriculture what action he is taking, following the findings of the inter-Departmental committee set up to review the need for a sugar-beet factory in the South of England.

Sir T. Dugdale

My right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Food and I have this week received the recommendations of the group of officials who have reviewed this problem, and the Government's decision thereon will be announced as soon as possible.

Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that, in the last few years, Hampshire has stepped-up its sugar-beet production tremendously, and that the provision of a sugar-beet factory in or near Hampshire would be of great importance, not only to that county but to British agriculture generally?

Mr. G. R. Howard

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that, when considering the matter, such places as Taunton, Salisbury and or Chippenham will be kept in mind to serve the South-West?

Sir T. Dugdale

Yes, all those facts will be taken into consideration.

Mr. J. Johnson

Is the Minister aware of the congestion occurring at lifting-time in the factories at Kidderminster and Colwich in the Midlands, and that Warwickshire farmers feel that the only solution is to build another factory in the South-West?

Mr. Nabarro

Is the Minister aware that the Kidderminster sugar factory—the largest in the Midlands—operates smoothly and efficiently and that, in spite of its large intake, there is no congestion of any kind?

Mr. Hurd

Will the Minister let this House and the public have the facts of the position before the Government reach a decision?

Sir T. Dugdale

We must first consider the report we have just received.