HC Deb 09 February 1956 vol 548 cc1798-800
42. Mr. Crouch

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the amount of sugar produced from the 1955 harvest and its value.

Mr. Amory

About 665,000 tons in terms of raw sugar, valued at about £35 million before payment of duty.

Mr. Crouch

May I ask my right hon. Friend how this figure compares with the previous year, and how it compares with the average for the previous two or three years?

Mr. Amory

The comparable figure for 1954—that is the previous year—was 624,300 tons, so that it is rather higher this year. I am sorry that I have not got the average figures with me, but if my hon. Friend cares to put down a Question, I will give them to him.

Mr. Willey

Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the House what are the intentions of Her Majesty's Government about the Sugar Bill?

Mr. Amory

The intention of Her Majesty's Government is to proceed with the Committee stage and, finally, to bring the Bill back to this House.

Mr. Willey

Has his Joint Parliamentary Secretary informed the right hon. Gentleman of what happened this morning, and in view of that, is he aware of the feeling in the Committee that if the Government back benchers are not prepared to support the Government on this matter then the Government ought to withdraw the Bill?

Mr. Amory

What the hon. Gentleman has said is not in any way difficult to reconcile with what I have said, but I would suggest that it does not arise on the Question.

Major Anstruther-Gray

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order for this House to take cognisance of what has happened upstairs in a Committee when the Committee has not reported the matter to this House?

Mr. Speaker

It is the first I have heard of this matter. If the Minutes of the Committee or the OFFICIAL REPORT of the proceedings in the Committee have been circulated to hon. Members, it would be in order, but if that is not the case it is not in order to refer to the proceedings in the Committee.

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