HC Deb 04 May 1926 vol 195 cc218-9W
Sir W. de FRECE

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will state the subsidy on each 7 cwts. of molasses produced as the result of refining a ton of beet sugar; the amount realised by the sale of such 7 cwts. of molasses in the open market; and the reason for State assistance in this connection?


The question assumes that 7 cwt. of molasses are the result of refining a ton of beet sugar. This cannot be assumed, because the rate of extraction of sugar varies at, each factory, and at two of the factories raw sugar is produced and not white sugar. In addition to variations in the weight of molasses per ton of sugar, there are variations in sweetening matter, to which different rates of subsidy and Excise Duty are applicable. On molasses of 70 per cent, and over of sweetening matter, the rate of subsidy is 12s. 4'7d. per cwt., and the rate of Excise Duty 4s. 8½d. per cwt.: on molasses of 50 to 70 per cent. sweetening matter, the rate of subsidy is 8s. 10.9d. and the Excise Duty 3s. 4⅔d. per cwt.; if not more than 50 per cent. sweetening matter and not less than 45 per cent., the rate of subsidy is 4s. 3.8d. per cwt. and the Excise Duty is 1s. 7½d. per cwt. Quotations for cane molasses are given in trade papers, but are no guide to the prices obtained by the beet sugar factories. These prices have not, so far as my information goes, been less than 1s. 6d. per cwt. in bond. Prior to the grant of a, subsidy, the industry enjoyed remission of Excise Duty on sugar and sugar in molasses. Excise Duty has been re imposed in each case, and a definite rate of subsidy for a period of years substituted.