HC Deb 29 October 1936 vol 316 cc14-5
26. Mr. LUNN

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he has any statement to make on the position of affairs in Newfoundland?


The work of the Commission of Government has followed the general lines indicated in the report contained in the Command Paper, Cmd. 5117, issued last March. The financial improvement shown in the latter months of last financial year has continued, the revenue in the three months which have followed being substantially higher than that of the corresponding months last year. I regret to say, how- ever, that the fisheries have in general been handicapped by. the continuance of low prices, with the result that the number of those receiving relief has remained high. The hon. Member will appreciate that the difficulty has been greatly aggravated by unfavourable developments in some of Newfoundland's most important overseas markets. Careful attention is being given to the improvement of marketing organisation, and a committee, set up to investigate the whole position of the fishing industry will, I hope, be able to submit a report shortly to the Commission of Government. The paper mills on the Island are working to capacity. The Commission continues its efforts to develop agriculture and land settlement and recent land reclamation operations have had encouraging results.


In view of the fact that it is many months since we had a report on what is taking place in Newfoundland, is it not time that we had another report in order that we may know the facts of the situation there?


I have the question of a further report under consideration now.


Can the Minister tell us how many of the commissioners who have been sent out from this country have resigned, and why?


All the commissioners were appointed for certain periods. One of them has come to the end of his term of office and has come home. Another commissioner has been appointed in his place, in the ordinary course of events.