asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that farmers are being refused any supplies of sugar-beet pulp unless they guarantee to grow a certain acreage of sugar-beet for 1940; and whether this is in accordance with instructions issued by his Department?
I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend is informed that farmers who grew sugar-beet in 1939 have, in every case, received the full amount of sugar-beet pulp to which they were entitled under their contracts, and that in disposing of surplus supplies the British Sugar Corporation is, for the time being, giving a preference to farmers who have contracted to grow sugar-beet for 1940. No instructions on this subject have been issued by the Ministry but the arrangements referred to meet with my right hon. Friend's approval.
In dealing with this surplus, I understand that the corporation has confined the offer for the moment to farmers under contract far 1940, and has allocated the limited supplies among farmers who are clearly making sugar-beet growing part of their farming programme for 1940–41.
As I presume the Government are anxious that more sugar-beet should be grown in this country, does my right hon. Friend think they are likely to get it if they do not encourage farmers?