HC Deb 22 February 1945 vol 408 cc980-1W
Sir J. Lucas

asked the Minister of Agriculture who bears the loss when sugar beet is left on railway sidings or lost in transit after the factories close.

Mr. Hudson

In the circumstances postulated the loss would fall on the contracting grower. I am informed, however, that cases of this kind are of very infrequent occurrence.

Mr. E. Granville

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that the closing of the sugar beet factories at Bury St. Edmunds on 25th January, Ipswich on 26th January and recently at Spalding, together with the refusal of the L.N.E.R. to accept further consignments, has left many farmers in the Eye district with hundreds of tons of sugar beet in the fields and heaped on the roadside; and if, in view of the serious loss to agriculturists and the national sugar supply, he will take steps to extend the period for the delivery of the crop.

Mr. Hudson

When the Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich factories were closed all beet available for transport from the localities had been accepted. A certain acreage was, however, trapped in the ground by frost, and I fear that, owing to the sudden thaw and ensuing mild conditions, a good deal of this beet will be quite unfit for sugar manufacture. The Spalding factory was kept open, and is still open, to deal with such of the trapped beet as is suitable for processing, and I understand that deliveries are being made from the Eye district by road. I hope that it will be possible to arrange for the delivery of all sound beet from this district.