Commonwealth Sugar Producers

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1967.

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Photo of Mr Derek Page Mr Derek Page , King's Lynn 12:00 am, 16th March 1967

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what estimate he has made of the effects of possible entry of Great Britain to the European Economic Community on the economies of sterling area producers of sugar, and the consequent changes in need for economic assistance.

Photo of Mr Albert Oram Mr Albert Oram , East Ham South

If we enter the European Economic Community, the effects on Commonwealth sugar producing countries would depend on the precise terms negotiated at the time. We should, of course, have their interests very much in mind.

Photo of Mr Derek Page Mr Derek Page , King's Lynn

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the particular reliance of these territories on this single crop, which outweighs, for instance, the reliance of New Zealand on its exports to this country, and will he make sure that this is taken fully into account? Otherwise, they could be ruined.

Photo of Mr Albert Oram Mr Albert Oram , East Ham South

I agree that this is an important aspect of the sugar trade. For example, Barbados relies on sugar exports for 90 per cent. of its total exports, and there are others similarly placed. Certainly, this is a problem which will need careful consideration.

Photo of Sir Harmar Nicholls Sir Harmar Nicholls , Peterborough

Will conditions on matters such as this be settled before we join, or shall we have to wait till afterwards and then trust to luck?

Photo of Mr Albert Oram Mr Albert Oram , East Ham South

It is not for me to answer questions about the negotiations.