Sugar (Sales to Persia)

House of Commons | June-July 1951

The Mossadegh Project | March 10, 2023                   

The British House of Commons on domestic sugar supplies and the amount being exported to Iran (July 1951).

British House of Commons | Archive
British House of Lords | Iran Archive
Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC/BP) | Archive

June 21, 1951

Jam Making and Fruit Canning

HL Deb 21 June 1951 vol 172 cc271-95

3.30 p.m.


LORD HAWKE rose to call attention to the need for the allocation of more sugar to housewives and manufacturers and more tinplate to canners in order to make full use of the British fruit crop; and to move for Papers.

[. . . . . . . . . . . .]

4.17 p.m.

Lord Llewellin [John Llewellin, Conservative Party]

[. . . . . . . . . . . .]

So far as I understood the suggestion of my noble friend Lord Hawke, he thought it would be well to give 69,000 tons more to the domestic consumer this year; 19,000 tons to the jam makers; 5,000 tons to the canners and a small amount, say about 1,000 tons, to the people who provide these special fruit juices, so beneficial for infants and young children. That adds up to 94,000 tons. What is the background for this? Our sugar consumption in the United Kingdom is still only 79 per cent. of what it was in pre-war years. World production, however, has increased by nearly 50 per cent. since the war, and there is now no 284shortage of sugar in the Western Hemisphere. Indeed, in the Empire, I am glad to say, we have increased our sugar production over the last four years by 580,000 tons. If we look at ourselves in relation to the rest of the world, we are the only large Power which has sugar rationing. I come to the very modest request of my noble friend, and put forward a suggestion as to where this extra 94,000 tons can be found. Everybody has to do his best to increase our export trade, but as I was looking through the list the name of one country caught my eye. Last year we exported 117,243 tons of sugar to Persia. I suggest a simple swap: that our people here should get this extra amount of sugar, and that as the Persians are not being too tender to us we should not be too tender to them in this matter, and for once help to consume our own fruit crop and help to give more satisfaction and pleasure to the housewives of this country. I have the greatest pleasure in supporting the Motion so ably proposed by my noble friend.

• Source: Parliamentary Debates (Hansard): House of Commons Official Report
[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]

July 25, 1951

Sugar (Sales to Persia)

HC Deb 25 July 1951 vol 491 c56W

Mr. Turton [Robin Turton, Conservative Party]
asked the Minister of Food what quantity of sugar he sold to Persia during the first six months of this year; and whether he is continuing to sell sugar to Persia.

Mr. Webb [Maurice Webb, Labor Party, Minister of Food]
The figure is 86,000 tons. Further sugar has been ordered by Persia, and is being loaded, but the position is under review.

• Source: Parliamentary Debates (Hansard): House of Commons Official Report
[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]

July 30, 1951


HC Deb 30 July 1951 vol 491 cc935-8

Mr. Wills [Gerald Wills, Conservative Party]
asked the Minister of Food whether he will arrange for sugar to be allocated to suitable organisations in country districts in order that as many people as possible may preserve the large amount of fruit which is available.

Mr. F. Willey [Frederick Willey, Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food]
My right hon. Friend is very sorry that the sugar supply position does not permit him to make the arrangement suggested.

Mr. Wills
If it was possible to do this, or something very like it, in the depths of war, why should it not be possible now, so that the people in the country may be allowed to use the fruit available?

Mr. Willey
We have been able this year to increase the amount of sugar which the housewife enjoys.

Mr. Profumo [John Profumo, Conservative Party]
Is the Minister aware that as things are at present country folk have to sell their fruit to manufacturers and buy it back at very much more expensive prices in the form of either preserved fruit or jam, and that the consequence will be that they will allow a lot of it to rot? In view of the rising cost of living, and the approaching General Election, does he not think that he should do something about it?

Mr. Deedes [William Deedes, Conservative Party]
Will the Minister bear in mind the relationship of this problem to the point raised by the hon. Lady the Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton), in Question No. 9, because unless sugar is given to preserve the available fruit there will not only be a waste of fruit, but the housewife will go short in the winter?

Mr. Willey
We have been able to give the housewife more sugar this year, and I am sure that she will take every advantage of it.

Mr. Turton [Robin Turton, Conservative Party]
asked the Minister of Food whether he will discontinue the loading of sugar ordered by Persia until after the present crisis, and use the sugar so saved for increasing the domestic sugar ration.

Mr. Willey
I do not think it would be wise for me at present to add to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member on 25th July. The quantities affected would not make any material difference to the sugar ration.

Mr. Turton
Will the Parliamentary Secretary explain why, when our citizens are being harried in Persia, we have doubled our sales to Persia compared with 1949? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the effect of the last part of his reply would be to increase the domestic sugar ration by 4 lb. a head?

Mr. Willey
The hon Gentleman is inaccurate in his estimate. As I have indicated, the effect upon the ration would be negligible. This is an incident in a much larger question, and I am sure that he would not expect me to reply further at the moment.

Brigadier Head [Anthony Head, Conservative Party]
Has this policy been adopted because the Foreign Secretary wants to be known among the Persians as “Sugar Ray Morrison”? [Herbert Morrison]

Mr. Molson [Arthur Hugh Molson, Conservative Party]
What is the quantity of sugar now being exported to Persia?

Mr. Willey
I will not state the amount. [HON. MEMBERS: “Why not?”] I think it would be undesirable to do so. [HON. MEMBERS: “Why?”] The amount at present involved is subject to discussions on current sales. It depends how the discussions go. I can assure the House that it is quite negligible as far as the amounts required in the rationing of this country are concerned.

Mr. Turton
Did not the Minister tell us only last week that the amount involved was 1¾ million cwt.? [centum weight]

Mr. Nugent [Richard Nugent, Conservative Party]
asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the increasing availability of world supplies of sugar, he will assure this House that His Majesty’s Government have not entered, and will not enter, into any negotiations involving the reduction of the volume of sugar from home-grown sugar beet and, consequently, the limitation of the acreage grown.

Mr. Willey
His Majesty’s Government have not entered into any negotiations involving a limitation of the acreage or the production of home-grown sugar beet.

Mr. Nugent
In view of the fact that more sugar is available in the world, and that there is a prospect that at some time His Majesty’s Government might try and obtain some, will the hon. Gentleman assure us that he understands that the sugar-beet crop is a pivotal crop in the husbandry of a large number of our farms, especially in East Anglia? If we can increase our imports of sugar does the Minister intend to reduce the quantities taken from home-grown sources?

Mr. Willey
We recognise the importance of the home-grown crop. At the same time, we recognise that whenever possible we should obtain large supplies from abroad. We do not accept present supplies as being adequate.

Mr. Nugent
That is not quite the answer to my question. What I asked was, when we are able to obtain more from abroad will the Minister give an undertaking that he does not intend to reduce the amount that he obtains from homegrown sources?

Mr. Willey
I can assure the House that that is not our present intention.

Major Legge-Bourke [Harry Legge-Bourke, Conservative Party]
Will the Minister go a little further and assure the House that on no account will he consider reducing the acreage of the existing sugar-beet areas in Britain?

[No reply was recorded]

• Source: Parliamentary Debates (Hansard): House of Commons Official Report
[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]


Related links:

Foreign Affairs (Middle East) | House of Commons, July 30, 1951

Persian Oil Fields (Disturbances) | House of Commons, April 13, 1951

Winston Churchill Laments Declining British Empire (Oct. 2, 1951 Campaign Speech)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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