HL Deb 27 July 1931 vol 81 cc1216-7

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Marley.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF ONSLOW in the Chair.]

Clause 1 [Provision for the making of advances to certain manufacturers of British beet sugar]:


Many of your Lordships no doubt have seen the Report recently issued about this measure—a very admirable and remarkable document it is. It shows that during the last few years the State has spent something like £27,000,000 in subsidy to this industry. One thing that is not mentioned in the Report is the actual factories in which the sugar-making goes on, although there is a number of pictures showing these factories in different parts of the country. The factory, however, is not itself mentioned in the Report. It seems to be treated as if it does not very much matter, so long as the factory is there and does its work. But I know a good many of these factories, and I have studied the pictures of them in the Report, and it would be difficult to find a more commonplace group of factories erected in recent times for industrial purposes. Clause 1 of the Bill contemplates that in the event of the quota specified being adhered to, further factories may be erected in this country. All I want to say to the noble Lord in charge of the Bill is that, if he can bring any influence to bear upon the subject, he and his colleagues should do their best to ensure that some attention is paid to the nature and design of these factories.

It is quite out of date to have an ugly, commonplace, badly sited, badly planned, badly designed factory, and in the last few years under this Act we in this country have put up twenty factories, each one of which, I am afraid, comes within the description that I have given. If the noble Lord would use his influence with the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, who is in charge of this Bill, and see whether, in the event of a new factory being required, some of the responsible people could make a tour in Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, or Northern France, where new buildings have been recently erected, they would learn two things—first, that the manufactory can be a dignified, beautiful building, and, secondly, that it can be erected just as cheaply as one which is designed by the engineer. I hope this matter is worthy of consideration, and, in view of the fact that the State is pouring out millions and millions of money in this industry, I think we are justified in bringing the matter before the Government.


I am much obliged to the noble Earl for mentioning this. I too, have seen these factories, and I am horrified at the look of them. It is not necessary to go as far as Holland, Germany, or Scandinavia to see beautiful factories, because there are really charming buildings on the Kingston by-pass road, and one or two charming buildings on the Great West Road—not perfect, but nevertheless far better than the type of factory that has been put up under this beet sugar scheme. I will certainly bring that fact to the notice of the Minister as soon as this debate is concluded.

On Question, Clause 1 agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

Schedules agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment.