HC Deb 19 May 1924 vol 173 cc1822-3
37. Mr. J. HARRIS

asked the secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the serious warning issued by the Governor of Nigeria as to the danger which confronts the West African vegetable oil industry by reason of the growing menace of Dutch competition; whether he is aware that this warning is similar in character to that made by the Governor of Sierra Leone; and whether, in any Committee that he proposes to set up to consider economic questions in the Dependencies, he will include this subject in the terms of reference?


The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. The question of the best means of improving and increasing the production of palm oil has been considered by a Committee appointed by my predecessor. I am considering their Report.


Are not the difficulties with which the right hon. Gentleman is confronted due to the ill-fated attempt of his predecessors to impose Protection on the West African Colonies? Can we have an assurance that there will be no return to that policy?


I have no knowledge of any sins of my predecessors.