17. Mr. DOYLE
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the serious loss in the raw cotton crops in America, Egypt, and elsewhere by insect pests, what help has been rendered by the Colonial Office to growers in various parts of the British Empire to counteract the ravages of such pests; what steps are being taken to materially assist the growth of raw cotton in the Australian Commonwealth and other parts of the Empire; and if he will give the sums spent during the past 12 months for this purpose?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am glad to say that most of the Colonies and Protectorates have escaped the worst ravages of the pests which have done harm in America and Egypt. All imported cotton seed is carefully examined, and insect pests have up to date been kept in check by the efforts of the various Colonial Agricultural Departments. The need for strengthening these Departments, especially on the entomological side, has been appreciated and met to the fullest extent possible, compatible with due economy in administration. The efforts made by His Majesty's Government to foster the production of cotton within the Empire have recently culminated in the gift of £978,215 to the funds of the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation upon certain conditions. When these conditions are fulfilled, the corporation will undertake active measures to promote the cultivation of cotton in the Empire, but I am quite unable to say to what extent its operations will apply to any particular territory.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
It is money made out of a deal which we did in Egypt in regard to the sale of cotton during the War.