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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether consent has been given by him to the proposed arrangement by which the sugar production of the Colonies will be cut down by 7 per cent.; and whether an opportunity will be given for this matter to be considered by the Governments of the Colonies concerned, and by Parliament, before any final decision is taken?
I think the hon. Member has seen in certain organs of the Press an incomplete report of proposals which are being discussed at the International Sugar Conference. It is not proposed to undertake any obligation in the terms stated, but I must defer any full statement until the Conference is concluded. I anticipate that opportunities will be available for discussion in Parliament before any international Agreement which may be reached is ratified.
Yes, Sir. I am glad to be able to inform the House that the International Sugar Conference has reached an agreement on all points of substance. Pending its signature, however, I am not in a position to give details of its contents, but I may say that it provides for the regulation of the quantities to be exported from the principal producing countries during a period of five years. I would add that in the event of the agreement coming into operation it is the intention of His Majesty's, Government in the United Kingdom to invite Parliament to stabilise the existing rates of general Imperial preference during a similar period. The additional Colonial preference will also be continued, subject to a minor modification of its terms; on that a further announcement will be made.
As quickly as possible. The documents are being prepared now. Everything has been cleared up and the preparation of the documents is in hand. There are certain questions relating to the signature of them to be dealt with, and as soon as that is done I see no reason why a White Paper should not he issued without delay.