Mr. T. Morris
asked the Lord President of the Council whether he can give an 546W assurance that he will not commit this country to any agreement at the International Sugar Conference which will perpetuate the dependence of this country upon foreign, as against Empire, supplies of sugar, unless the foreign countries to benefit agree to purchase a larger proportion of their requirements from this country; and whether he can supply up-to-date figures showing the balance of trade between this country and those which provide the bulk of our present foreign sugar imports?
§ Mr. R. MacDonald
The United Kingdom delegation to the conference has been guided in its deliberations by existing trade policy and legislation on the subject of sugar; the delegation includes the Secretary of State for the Colonies, representing the Colonies, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. Independently of the United Kingdom delegation are representatives of the Dominions interested. All these delegates have agreed to what has been done thus far. With regard to the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 24th March last by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade to the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer), of which I attach a copy.
§ Colonel Wedgwood
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has suggested to the representatives of the sugar-producing Colonies now in London that they should agree to a reduction in the amount of preference which their sugar now enjoys on entering this country; and whether he can give an assurance that he will not initiate any policy with regard to sugar production in the Colonies which would postpone the date on which the Empire can become self-supporting so far as sugar is concerned?
§ Mr. Ormsby-Gore
As to the first part of the question, no such suggestion has been made. As to the second part, I would refer to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council to the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Sandys) on 24th March.
§ Colonel Wedgwood
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the decision of sugar-cane farmers in Jamaica, at a recent 547W public meeting, to ask the Government to consider the special needs of their large district if there should be any proposal at the International Sugar Conference to limit production; and whether, in view of the fact that Jamaica can no longer rely to the same extent on banana production, owing to the development of Panama disease, he can give an assurance that he will agree to no arrangements which will not permit the continued reasonable expansion of Jamaica sugar production?
§ Mr. Ormsby-Gore
I have not received any information of the particular action by sugar cane farmers referred to, but, as explained in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Nuneaton (Lieut.-Commander Fletcher) on 7th April, I am
Approximate Quantity retained for Home Consumption. Approximate Net Receipts. Light Oils: Petroleum spirit: Gallons. £ Motor spirit … … 1,276,729,000 42,557,000 Other spirit … … 21,715,000 724,000 Coal tar products(a): Benzol … … 176,000 6,000 Other sorts … … 1,000 — Turpentine … … 5,030,000 168,000 Heavy oils for mixing with light oils … … 10,000 — Other hydro-carbon oils … … 31,000 1,000 Oils in composite articles … … 147,000 5,000 Total … … 1,303,839,000 43,461,000 Deduct net amount paid to Isle of Man (b) … — 51,000 Net receipts … … — 43,410,000 Heavy Oils: Petroleum oil: Road fuel oil … … 48,498,000 1,617,000 Other fuel oil … … 283,850,000 1,183,000 Crude oil … … 2,862,000 12,000 Kerosene … … 201,595,000 840,000 Lubricating oil … … 106,657,000 444,000 Gas oil … … 62,768,000 261,000 Other sorts … … 7,519,000 31,000 Coal tar products … … 33,000 — Other oils … … 217,000 1,000 Oils in composite articles. … … 404,000 2,000 Total … … 714,403,000 4.391,000 Grand Total … … — 47,801,000 (a) The heading "Naphtha" has been discontinued in the official accounts; naphtha is now included in "Other sorts". (b) Estimated difference between amounts collected in, and allocated to, the Isle of Man.