§ 31. Mr. Wiggin
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what binding arrangements he has made to ensure an adequate supply of sugar to meet the country's requirements in 1975.
§ Mr. Peart
Negotiations are about to begin on a long-term agreement with the developing exporting countries of the Commonwealth, which will supersede the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement at the end of this year. In addition, the EEC Council of Ministers has decided that measures should be taken to ensure an adequate supply of sugar throughout the Community at common prices during the current marketing year. Lastly, the increase in quotas and prices should encourage our beet growers to expand production.
§ Mr. Strang
The estimated quantity entering distribution in the United Kingdom in the six months ending 30th September 1974 was 1.45 million tons, compared with 1.22 million and 1.32 million tons in the corresponding periods of 1973 and 1972.
§ 54. Mr. Hannam
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what future role he forecasts for Commonwealth sugar imports when the EEC will be self-sufficient in sugar in 1975.
§ 55. Mr. Budgen
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what prices he considers necessary for sugar to ensure Commonwealth sugar supplies in 1975.
§ 60. Mr. Mayhew
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will explain what form State aid will take as announced in his statement of 21st November 1974 on the future price structure of sugar imports of Commonwealth sugar.
§ Mr. Strang
The EEC Council of Agricultural Ministers agreed at its November meeting that, in the exceptional circumstances of high world prices, the price paid to suppliers in the developing Commonwealth countries, at least in 1975, could exceed the basic price to be guaranteed by the Community; that the additional amounts should be negotiated between sellers and buyers; and that, if necessary, State guarantees could be given to the buyers in accordance with the opinion of the EEC Commission. It is not possible at this stage to say whether such guarantees will be necessary or, if so, what form they would take.