12 APRIL 1935, Page 2

The Doom of the Beet Subsidy It is to be

hoped that the Government will have the courage to accept and act on the findings of the majority report of the Greene Committee on the Sugar Industry, which was published on Thursday. Forty million pounds of public money has so far been expended in stimulating the .uneconomic production in this country of a com- modity with which the world is glutted, to satiety. The subsidy was originally an emergency measure, to enable the experiment of home production of beet sugar to be tried with-some hope of success, 'but as so often happens, it has been continued for years till, as stated, the total so far handed over to growers and refiners exceeds £40,000,000. It is not surprising that the Greene Com- mittee " are unable to find positive justification for the expenditure of a sum of several millions pounds per annum on an industry which has no reasonable prospects of ever becoming self-supporting, and on the production of a crop which, without that assistance, would, at present sugar prices, be practically valueless." It is hard to see any answer to that. Mr. Cyril Lloyd, in a minority report, puts forward the old proposal of a levy on all sugar, to provide a fund to maintain the subsidy. Such a plan is open to-as grave objections as the present arrange- ment.