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Jamaican Sugar

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 18 May 1961

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5.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many tons of Jamaican sugar are included in the additional West Indian allocation of the United States sugar import market, arranged in April, 1961; what surplus production this is likely to leave in Jamaica; and what representations are being made by the United Kingdom in Washington that the surplus should be taken by the United States when the reserved figure of 1,200,000 tons is allocated to producer countries later in 1961.

A total of 31,349 short tons of Jamaican sugar is included in this allocation. This will leave about 70,000 short tons available for export this year in excess of all Jamaica's existing export quotas and United States allocations, although much more could readily be made available for the United States market if required. The United States authorities have been given full information about the amounts of sugar which the West Indies could supply in 1961 and in the long term.

Will Her Majesty's Government help by pressing in Washington that America should take as much as possible of the sugar as quickly as possible? Secondly, could Her Majesty's Government help in putting on further pressure in Washington to make sure that longer-term guarantees in respect of West Indian sugar are given instead of having this matter reach danger point every year?

We put forward the claims of many territories, not just of Jamaica but of the whole of the West Indies and such places as Mauritius and Fiji and countries in the Commonwealth, too. Representation is made on behalf of them all. Answering the second part of the supplementary question, the allocations which are made are temporary, and I think that the question of the permanent quotas will arise later when the American Sugar Act is amended.