HC Deb 18 February 1908 vol 184 cc631-2

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what further steps he intends to take to cope with the distress prevailing in the island of St. Helena.


I am glad to say that the Governor has reported to the Secretary of State that the situation in St. Helena is steadily improving, and that matters generally are much brighter than they were a year ago. I am informing the hon. Member, in reply to another Question, of the opening of the Government fibre mill; and improvements to the water supply for the mill, which are being carried out at the present moment from funds provided by His Majesty's Government, should provide a partial and temporary remedy for unemployment in the island. I may mention also that within the last few days a grant of £360 has been agreed to for the maintenance, during 1908, of the roads required in connection with the fibre industry; this grant should serve the same purpose. In addition, the lace industry, which was started last year in order to provide employment for the women and girls in St. Helena, has now got into working order. The hon. Member may like to know that specimens of the lace produced are on view at the offices of the League of the Empire at Caxton Hall, Westminster. In view of the comparatively large amount which His Majesty's Government is providing, and the improvement which the Governor reports in the situation, the Secretary of State does not consider that any further action is necessary at present in the direction of providing relief work from Imperial funds.

MR. WARDLE (Stockport)

Is this a Government Factory in St. Helena?


Yes, a Government fibre factory has been started in order to provide a remedy for unemployment.


When may we expect to have Government factories in England?


England is not under the Colonial Office.


Have we not already several hundred Government workshops—workhouses?

[No Answer was returned.]