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Molasses (Price)

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 14 April 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade how much of the £4,783,000 profit he hopes to make on molasses for the year 1949 is the result of a reduction in the price given to the West Indian producer.

My hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. The figure he quotes is not a trading profit. It is the estimate of the excess of cash receipts over expenditure in connection with the purchase and sale of molasses, etc., during the year 1949–50, as shown in the Civil Estimates published recently.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the price in the West Indies has been cut by half, and is havng a serious effect on the sugar producers in the West Indies?


asked the President of the Board of Trade how much molasses he intends to buy from dollar sources during 1949; and at what price.

Is my hon. Friend aware that by withholding this information, the worst possible impression is being created in the West Indies, which are absolutely dependent upon the sugar industry for their livelihood? Will he urge on his right hon. Friend to cease treating this as a purely economic question and to consult with his other right hon. Friend, the Colonial Secretary, to see if they cannot arrive at some better arrangement?

Could the hon. Gentle-say the reasons why it is not in the national interest to disclose this information?