HC Deb 08 April 1881 vol 260 cc1011-2

asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether it is the fact that the Indian Government are exporting large quantities of cinchona bark for sale in London; and, whether, in introducing the cinchona plant into India, the Government did so with the object of encouraging private enterprise, or of competing in the market with the private trade?


The object of the Government in introducing the cinchona plant into India was to provide an abundant supply of a cheap febrifuge for the people of that country. Almost all the bark produced in the Bengal plantations is manufac- tured in India for use there. A difficulty has been found in treating the produce of the Madras plantations in the same way, and for this reason the greater part of it has been sent to England. It is believed that the sale of this bark, which has established the reputation of the Indian-grown bark, is of great advantage to private growers; but an experiment is now being made on a large scale with a view to the manufacture of this bark in England on Government account; and, if this prove successful, it is probable that the supply from India will be discontinued.