asked the Minister of Food what the sugar refining capacity of the United Kingdom was at the outbreak of war, or at any convenient date during 1939; what it was at the end of the war; and what it is at the present time, distinguishing in each case between the capacity of refineries, the normal campaign production capacity of beet sugar factories, and the off-season refining capacity of the factories, and adding in the case of present day capacity an estimate of any increase which could be secured by alteration of raw-sugar factories.
pursuant to her reply, [OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th March, 1949; Vol. 462, c. 155] supplied the following information:sugar factories are economically well situated for handling imported raw sugar. The six raw sugar factories are not equipped for producing refined sugar, either in the campaign or in the off-season, and to adapt them for a refining would be a costly and lengthy business. If adapted, the potential capacity of these six factories for off-season refining would be about 450,000 tons, but a more realistic figure would be 200,000 tons.