§ Mr. Morgan
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the British colonial sugar industry was persuaded to agree to the limitation of output provided for under the International Sugar Agreement in the hope that increased sugar prices would result; and, in view of the fact that prices have fallen substantially since the agreement was signed, what steps he proposes to take to provide alternative means to preserve and develop the economic position of the sugar-growing colonies such as the British West Indies?
Mr. M. MacDonald
I am aware that the object of the International Sugar Agreement is to secure increased sugar prices, and that this object has not yet been attained. The question of the possi-1230W bility of providing alternative means to preserve and develop the economic position of the sugar-growing colonies, however, will not arise until it is known whether or not the further steps already taken or to be taken in the near future by the International Sugar Council are likely to achieve their object.
§ Sir R. Rankin
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the low sugar prices which have obtained since the signing of the International Sugar Agreement can only be borne by the producers and employees concerned in the West Indies if some expansion of output is permitted; and whether steps can be taken to avoid the present combination of low prices and curtailed output which is otherwise likely to cause further trouble?
Mr. M. MacDonald
I am well aware that the present combination of low prices and curtailed output is bearing hardly on the sugar industry in the West Indies. As I have indicated in reply to other questions, the International Sugar Council is at present engaged in an attempt to improve the position.