HC Deb 20 December 1927 vol 212 cc187-8

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Empire Marketing Board have approached the Indian co-operative societies with a view to co-ordinating their efforts in the direction of the Empire marketing of Indian products?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)

The Board has not had any direct communication with Indian co-operative societies and has no detailed information in regard to the need for co-ordinating their efforts as suggested by the hon. Member. I might say, however, that in pursuance of its policy of working wherever possible through existing institutions, the Board has approved a grant to the Horace Plunkett Foundation, to which certain co-operative societies in India are, I believe, affiliated, to enable it to extend its services in fostering the co-operative organisation of producers in the Empire and giving expert advice on questions submitted to it.


Will the Under-Secretary get into touch with the representatives of the Empire Marketing Board in regard to these societies?


I am the Chairman of the Empire Marketing Board, and the procedure we adopt is to receive applications for grants. If the Indian co-operative societies are desirous of obtaining a grant—and we have given one or two similar grants—no doubt they will put their case before the Government of India in the usual way.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that unless the outcome of this expenditure of £1,000,000 is the adoption of co-operation much more successfully than has been the case in the past, this money will be largely wasted?


I am quite sure that the money is not being wasted——


I think that is going a long way from the original question.