Sugar Industry.

Oral Answers to Questions — West Indies. – in the House of Commons on 18th May 1938.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Major Henry Procter Major Henry Procter , Accrington

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that since the International Sugar Agreement was concluded sugar prices have already fallen from £6 10s. per ton to approximately £5 per ton, and that cane prices in the West Indian sugar industry will therefore probably have be be further reduced during the coming crop season; and, in view of the unfortunate effect which this reduction must have upon wages and economic circumstances generally in the West Indies, what remedial steps it is proposed to take?

Mr. M. MacDonald:

I am aware of the regrettable fall in the price of sugar to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers. The fall is due to the disequilibrium between supply and demand, owing to a number of causes, of which the Sino-Japanese conflict is the most important. The International Sugar Council at its recent meeting took certain steps to remedy the position, and are meeting again early in July to discuss the possibility of taking further steps.

Photo of Major Henry Procter Major Henry Procter , Accrington

Is the right hon. Gentleman considering the possibility of establishing a Customs union, including the West Indies and the other Colonies, in order to get fair prices for native products?

Mr. MacDonald:

I think that before we consider anything else, we must await the result of the action which the International Sugar Council has taken, and is prepared possibly to take at its next meeting.

Mr. De la Bère:

Would it not be possible to have fair prices for all produce?