British Sugar Corporation

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th February 1972.

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Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus 12:00 am, 29th February 1972

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will seek to terminate the statutory monopoly privileges of the British Sugar Corporation.

Photo of Mr James Stodart Mr James Stodart , Edinburgh West

Yes Sir, if it were in the national interest to do so, in the light of a specific proposition.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer, so far as it goes. I urge him to press on with this. In the meantime, will he reconsider the rejection by his right hon. Friend of my suggestion that the Government should disembarrass themselves of their holding in the corporation? If, as I hope we shall, we are soon to get shot of the monopoly privileges of the Corporation, surely there can be no justification for the retention of the Government's shareholding? Let us get rid of both, and the sooner the better.

Photo of Mr James Stodart Mr James Stodart , Edinburgh West

It is perfectly possible to terminate the statutory monopoly privileges while still retaining a Government interest.

Photo of Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East

Will the hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that he will not allow the corporation to build a new factory in East Anglia, having closed down one in Scotland?

Photo of Mr James Stodart Mr James Stodart , Edinburgh West

It is the policy of the corporation to increase the size of its factories in order to get more efficient throughput.