§ Commander BELLAIRS
asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of acres under sugar cultivation in France and Great Britain, respectively, and the comparative financial assistance afforded by the Governments in each casa?
The area under sugar beet in France and Great Britain in 1926 was 513,000 acres and 129,000 acres respectively. The acreage figures for 1927 will not be available for some weeks, but it is estimated that the figure for Great Britain will exceed 200,000 acres. The financial assistance given to the British beet industry is laid down in the British Sugar (Subsidy) Act, 1925, and, as regards sugar, amounts during the period of the highest rate of subsidy ending 30th September, 1928, to 19s. 6d. per cwt. on sugar exceeding 98 degrees polarisation. Excise duty amounting to 7s. 4⅔d. per cwt. is paid by the home manufacturer as compared with the Customs duty on foreign sugars of 11s. 8d. per cwt. So far as I am aware, no direct subsidy is enjoyed by the old-established sugar industry in France. I understand, however, that the French producer is protected by a Customs duty on foreign sugars which amounts at the current rate of exchange to 6s. 10d. per cwt. on sugar exceeding 98 per cent. Colonial and indigenous sugars do not pay this duty. I am informed that on all sugars in France of home, colonial and foreign origin an internal consumption tax of 10s. 3d. per cwt. is levied.