§ Colonel BURTON
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has any further information, other than that contained in the official Report, regarding the progress of the experiments for drying beet; whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that a company has been formed to exploit such a process; and whether, as the result of the formation of this company, the whole or any part of the public moneys spent in research at the Agricultural Institute at Oxford will be recovered?58W
Two interim Reportson experiments in drying processes for manufacturing beet sugar have been published, one as a, White Paper by His Majesty's Stationery Office last year and one as an article in the Journal of the Ministry of Agriculture for February, 1927. A full technical Report is in an advanced stage of preparation, and will be published with as little delay as possible.
I am informed that a company has purchased certain patents for a process known as crop-drying or mass-drying which has been applied to the manufacture! of beet sugar. These patents are partly owned by the Institute for Agricultural Engineering at Oxford, and it is expected that considerable sums will be realised which will be expended on the scientific work of the Institute. No patents have been taken out in respect of the recent investigations specifically into the manufacture of beet sugar.
The experimental factory which was erected for the purpose of these investigations has been sold, and a considerable proportion of the moneys expended on the investigations will be returned directly to the Exchequer.