§ 40. Mr. JAMES DUNCAN
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs if he will make a statement regarding the future of the work now clone by and the grants now given by the Empire Marketing Board?
The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS. (Mr. J. H. Thomas)
I would refer to the answer which I gave on 19th July to the hon. and learned Member for East Leicester (Mr. Lyons), to which I am not in a position to add at present.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
If I repeat this question on Thursday—which will be the last opportunity of doing so before November —will the right hon. Gentleman then be able to give a more satisfactory reply?
§ Mr. HANNON
Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, may I ask whether he has taken into consideration the representations made by various public bodies on the importance of continuing, in some form or other, the work which has been so admirably done by the Empire Marketing Board?
No words can adequately express the value of the work of the board, but it was instituted as a substitute for preferences to the Dominions, and the British taxpayer found all the money. We are anxious to continue the work, but we are not prepared to continue to feed the baby.
§ Mr. HANNON
When my right hon. Friend speaks of "feeding the baby," will he remember that British agriculture has benefited considerably from the activities of the Empire Marketing Board; and will he keep that very important consideration in view?
Certainly, but any advertisement of or encouragement of the British point of view can always be dealt with and paid for by ourselves and I repeat that it would be unfair for the British Government to foot this bill for something which is designed for Imperial purposes and not necessarily for British purposes only.
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
Before this question is finally settled, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the other side of the question: that the more you stimulate the purchase of Imperial products, the more surely you stimulate trade within the Empire?
Certainly, I wholeheartedly agree, and the more the Dominions stimulate buying from us the more it will encourage Empire trade—and so they will equally be encouraged by that consideration.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
May I repeat my supplementary question? If I put down my question on Thursday, will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give a more satisfactory answer?
I understand there is to be a Debate on Thursday, and if my hon. Friend makes a speech I shall probably refer to it.
§ 44 and 46. Mr. DUNCAN
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) 2210 if he will make a statement regarding grants to be paid to the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, Trinidad, and the East African research station, Amami, Tanganyika territory, after the termination of the periods covered by the grants made by the Empire Marketing Board;
§ (2) what is to be his policy regarding grants towards research, marketing, economic investigation, and marketing intelligence in the Colonies in continuation of the work now done by the Empire Marketing Board which comes to an end in September; and, if grants are to be given, from what fund will they be payable?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the Colonies (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)
I am fully alive to the importance of arranging for the continuance of services in the Colonies of an essential nature which have hitherto been financed from the Empire Marketing Fund. The whole question is under active consideration, but I am not at present in a position to make a statement in regard to it.
§ Mr. HANNON
Will the right hon. Gentleman take into special consideration the admirable work that is being done by the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad, and will he make any concession that he can to ensure the continuance of that work?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Yes, Sir, I think it is very plain from the answer I have given that I regard the work of the Imperial College o f Agriculture at Trinidad as absolutely vital to the Colony.