§ 37. Sir David Renton
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that the 1975 sugar beet crop may be below that of 1974; and whether he will now give assurances to farmers with regard both to the acreage which they will be permitted to grow and the prices which will be paid.
§ 38. Sir D. Dodds-Parker
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he is proposing, in view of the present world shortage of sugar, to increase the production of beet sugar.
§ Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he will take to ensure the expansion of the British sugar beet acreage in 1975; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether 252W up-to-date costing information from East Anglia indicates that at the existing contract price sugar beet production for 1974 will be unprofitable; and if he will consider both a special increase for 1974 together with the early announcement of an adequate 1975 price to safeguard United Kingdom sugar supplies and production employment in East Anglia.
§ Mr. Bishop
My right hon. Friend has made it clear to the Council of Ministers that we intend to expand the production of British beet sugar, over and above the increase of 10 per cent. in the minimum quota already secured. We recognise that one element in this is that growers both in 1975 and thereafter should have adequate incentives. My right hon. Friend is currently considering representations made to him.
§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his forecast of available supplies of sugar for United Kingdom users and consumers from United Kingdom beet, EEC beet and other sources separately for the rest of 1974 and for 1975 as a whole, in comparison with 1973 data.
§ Mr. Peart
In 1973, the United Kingdom market was supplied with sugar from the following sources: one-third from United Kingdom beet; two-thirds from imports under the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement (CSA); and a small quantity—approximately 40,000 tons—from EEC member States.
During 1974 as a whole, supplies of sugar will be maintained at normal levels. One-third of requirements will come from United Kingdom beet. Because of the shortfall on supplies under the CSA in the early part of this year amounting to about 290,000 tons, additional quantities have been purchased from EEC supplies and from the world market to make good the deficiency, and United Kingdom stocks made available to the domestic market. However, because CSA supplies in the second half of the year come from southern hemisphere countries, I do not anticipate further shortfalls. These imports, together with the additional supplies which I announced in a reply on 26th July to the hon. Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Gilmour) and the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Taylor), should overcome any temporary shortages.253W
It is too early to be precise about exact sources of supply in 1975; Community negotiations on imports of sugar under Protocol 22 of the Act of Accession are not completed, nor the shape of the internal Community regime.
§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how the output of British refined beet sugar per acre and per hectare compares with corresponding figures for France, Germany, Belgium and Holland; what factors account for the lower British figure; whether these factors prejudice an increase in a British quota; and if he will make a statement.