HC Deb 01 June 1938 vol 336 cc2044-5
62. Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the civil disturbances reported from British Guiana, he will give his immediate attention to a resolution passed by a large public meeting in Georgetown, British Guiana, on 7th February last, and handed to the Governor of the Colony on 15th February; and whether, in view of the fact that the resolution, which appeals for an official investigation of the social conditions and potential economic development of Jamaica, Barbados, and British Guiana, is signed by representative religious, municipal, social and trade union leaders of the last-mentioned Colony, he will take steps to make the appeal effective?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I have ascertained from the Governor of British Guiana that there is no truth in the Press report of riots and disturbances in that Colony on Friday last. I have recently received a copy of the resolution to which the hon. Member refers, together with the Governor's observations on it, and the whole question is receiving my careful consideration.

Mr. Lunn

When is the right hon. Gentleman going to take steps to have a complete inquiry into all the disturbances that are taking place in every one of the West Indian Islands?

Mr. MacDonald

I assure the hon. Member that I am losing no time in considering the very many factors which are concerned, but I cannot add anything to that at the present time.

Mr. Creech Jones

While giving consideration to the question of industrial unrest, will the right hon. Gentleman also consider the whole problem of the economic decay of the whole of this Colonial Empire, and what steps should be taken immediately to arrest it?

Mr. MacDonald

The economic difficulties of that part of Empire are, of course, very closely allied to the discontent, and I am considering the whole question in its widest aspect.