HC Deb 24 July 1973 vol 860 c387W
61. Mr. James Johnson

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a progress report on his discussions as to what arrangements should be made for the British cane sugar refining industry after 1974.

Mr. Godber

Discussions are still in progress and it would not be practicable at this stage to make a report.

Mr. Deakins

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much sugar has been imported from Australia in 1970, 1971 and 1972; and what arrangements have been made for phasing out such supplies.

Mr. Godber

The figures are as follows (metric tons, 96° polarisation): 1970, 366,720; 1971, 642,297; 1972, 486,361.

Arrangements for phasing out Australia's Commonwealth Sugar Agreement quota (360,000 p.a.) have yet to be decided by the Community.

Mr. Robert C. Brown

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, whether the Council of Ministers has yet considered whether "bankable assurances" which were obtained during the EEC negotiations for Commonwealth sugar cane imports extend by implication to those in this country whose livelihood depends on the processing and refining of imported sugar cane.

Mr. Godber

The Council has not considered this question. I am, of course, fully aware of the implications of future Community sugar policies on the British cane refining industry and we shall bear these fully in mind in our negotiations.