HC Deb 06 June 1928 vol 218 cc173-4
21. Mr. HANNON

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs the comparative figures of the production of tobacco within the Empire in 1920 and 1927; what percentage of the total production has now been reached in Rhodesia; and what special steps are being taken by the Empire Marketing Board to encourage the sale of Rhodesian tobacco in Great Britain?


An accurate statement in the form desired by my hon. Friend cannot be given, as no figures of the production of tobacco are available for Ceylon and certain other Colonies. The production of tobacco in other parts of the Empire was estimated in 1920 at 1,071 millions lbs., of which 3 million were produced in Southern Rhodesia. In 1927 production was estimated at approaching 1,100 millions lbs. in these countries, of which Southern Rhodesia produced 19 millions, or 1.75 per cent. of the total. The Empire Marketing Board are awaiting the forthcoming report on tobacco of the Imperial Economic Committee before deciding how they can best further the sale of Empire tobacco in this country. They have, however, recently been in consultation with representatives Rhodesia on the subject of the means that might be adopted to make it known to the public that excellent cigarettes of Rhodesian Virginian tobacco are now available.


Is my right hon. Friend aware of the steadily growing superior quality of Rhodesian tobacco, and will he ginger up the Empire Marketing Board in the matter?


As a non-smoker, I can only go on evidence that reaches me from many quarters. I gather that it is as my hon. Friend says.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask whether at the Colonial Office entertainments and receptions Colonial cigars are supplied?


If the hon. and gallant Member will call on me at my office, I shall be very glad to offer him only Colonial cigarettes.


Are the efforts of the Empire Marketing Board also being directed to tobacco grown in Nyasaland and other parts of British Africa?


Yes, certainly.


Does the fact that the right hon. Gentleman is a nonsmoker induce him to recommend this tobacco, which cannot be smoked?


No; I go on the advice given me.


Is not this year more important than any year for Southern Rhodesia, because of the tremendous increase of tobacco grown there, and will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Empire Marketing Board to use every effort this year?


I think my answer made it clear that the Empire Marketing Board was using every endeavour in connection with Rhodesian cigarettes, and I am sure my hon. Friends can help in the matter.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, taking doctors' reports, there has been a considerable increase of sore throats through people trying to smoke this tobacco?