(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the Government have yet come to a decision on the proposal, placed before the Chancellor of the Exchequer recently by a large and representative deputation, to grant a temporary remission of the Excise Duty on home-grown sugar in order to assist the establishment of the sugar-beet industry in this country?
Yes, Sir. The Government have decided that, in view of the exceptional circumstances of this new industry, and the condition of unemployment in this country, no Excise Duty should be charged on home-grown sugar, and the necessary provision for the removal of the existing Duty will be made in the Finance Bill of this Session. It is, of course, impossible to bind any future Government, but, in view of the fact that the remission of Excise is intended to assist a new industry during the experimental period, it may be hoped that Parliament would not re-impose any Excise Duty until the industry has been firmly established.
Have any conditions been laid upon the firms in this industry in this country that the difference caused by the remission of the Excise Duty is not going to be imposed upon the consumers in this country, and thereby give a larger profit to those concerned in the industry?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN:
There will be nothing imposed on the consumer. Unless this remission is made, the industry will not proceed. That is the only point. No special conditions have been laid down. As to when the remission comes into operation, the announcement which is made to-day will enable growers to plant their beet, but, of course, it cannot actually come into operation until it has been enacted by this House.