HC Deb 29 April 1976 vol 910 c550
17. Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a further statement on the reorganisation of British sugar refineries.

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. E. S. Bishop)

Consultations with the cane refinery companies and workers and with the British Sugar Corporation are continuing and I cannot yet add anything to my answer to the hon. Member on 18th March.

Mr. Taylor

Has the Minister seen the joint paper published by Tate & Lyle and Manbre and Garton which shows that some sugar refiners will have to close and several hundreds of jobs will be lost because of the EEC restrictions on imports of cane sugar? How many jobs does he think will be lost, and where?

Mr. Bishop

My right hon. Friend has been in close touch over a period of time with the trade unions, with Manbre and Garton and with Tate & Lyle on this matter. We are considering the proposals and hope to come to decisions by the end of May. We are involved in close discussions. The hon. Gentleman will know of the proposals by the two firms. The effect on lay-offs and employment will depend on the conclusions.