HC Deb 21 May 1930 vol 239 cc384-5
34. Mr. HURD

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will act upon the proposals put forward by representative British West Indian bodies and approach the Empire Marketing Board to secure financial accommodation for West Indian sugar estates, which will otherwise be unable to carry on after the end of the current crop, and enable them to market their sugar with British refineries or otherwise?


I am not aware that any such proposals have been put forward. His Majesty's Government have already made certain offers to assist West Indian sugar estates to cultivate their crops and any further offer of financial assistance of the kind indicated would not be a matter within the scope of the Empire Marketing Fund.


Has it not come to the knowledge of the Under-Secretary that in the opinion of the best authorities in the West Indies the proposals of the Government do not begin to meet the absolute necessities of the case?


We have certainly had a number of representations to that effect.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the crisis in the sugar industry in the West Indies, his Department has given attention to the manufacture from sugar-cane pulp in Florida and Louisiana of a new material known as celotex, which has proved so valuable as a lining for buildings that the extract of sugar from the cane is becoming a secondary consideration?


I am obliged to the right hon. Member for raising this question. Celotex is known in the West Indies and has been manufactured from the fibres of British West Indian sugar cane. Up to the present, however, it has usually proved more profitable to employ the residues of pressed cane as fuel in the sugar factories. The further possibilities of profitable development of this secondary industry will, however, be kept in view.

Forward to