§ Sir WATSON RUTHERFORD
asked the Minister of Food if he will explain the reason for the Sugar Restrictions Order 600W issued by him on the 31st October last, to come into operation on the 27th December, that manufacturers would not be allowed to take delivery of any free sugar without a licence, and that any such sugar they were allowed to take would be reckoned as part of their allotment, and that it was intended that the import of sugar next year would be 500,000 tons less than this; whether he is aware that the Java crop beginning next May is expected to yield over 1,500,000 tons; whether he has contemplated the results of such Order, namely, the curtailing or stopping of a large number of the industries for which sugar is required, the prevention of the use of next seasons fruit crop, and the throwing of many workers out of employment; and whether such Order was issued with or without consultation with the Royal Commission on Sugar Supply?
The reasons which rendered the Sugar (Restriction of Delivery) Order necessary were fully set out in a statement issued to the Press at the time when the Order was published. It is difficult to deal with the matter adequately within the limits of a Parliamentary answer, and I am accordingly causing a copy of the statement to be sent to the hon. Member. The reply to the second part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the third and fourth parts of the question, the Order was issued as being the only means of meeting the exigencies of the situation, and after consultation with, and at the request of, the Royal Commission on the Sugar Supply. The Order will not, in my opinion and that of the Commission, have the effect stated in the question.