HC Deb 30 April 1891 vol 352 cc1764-5
MR. A. O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Her Majesty's Government intend to adopt the measures recommended, after careful experiments, by the Commissioner of Paphos, for the improvement of sericulture in Cyprus; and whether, having regard to the poverty of the peasants, and to the languishing condition of that industry (which in prosperous times afforded remunerative employment for female labour throughout Cyprus), the Secretary of State will recommend that a grant be voted from the Consolidated Fund to be expended under the orders of the High Commissioner of Cyprus for the improvement of the cultivation of silk in that island?


Her Majesty's Government are favourably disposed towards trying such experiments as the hon. Member alludes to in the first part of his question; but the correspondence on the subject is still in progress. It would be contrary to approved usage for the Secretary of State to recommend a grant from Imperial funds for an industrial experiment of the nature described in the second part of the question; but if, and when he is satisfied that a grant could be usefully expended, he will recommend the Treasury to sanc- tion one out of Cyprus funds. The hon. Member is, however, doubtless aware that the question involves scientific considerations as to the possibility of combating with success the diseases which affect silkworms in the older centres of silk culture.