HC Deb 08 March 1939 vol 344 cc2135-6
48. Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now make a statement on the interim report of the Governor of the Gold Coast on the recommendations of the Cocoa Commission?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The interim report referred to by the hon. Member dealt only with the steps taken by the Governor of the Gold Coast to make known the Commission's recommendations and the first reactions of the farmers and chiefs to these recommendations. Before making any statement in the matter, I propose to await the receipt of the Governor's final recommendations.

Mr. Lunn

When does the right hon. Gentleman expect to receive the Governor's statement?

Mr. MacDonald

I cannot say when it will arrive in this country. The matter is being considered by a local committee in the Colony.

Mr. Lunn

If I put down a question in two weeks time, will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give a reply?

Mr. MacDonald

I cannot give any promise; I am very doubtful. The matter is a rather complicated one, and the local committee is no doubt making fairly extensive inquiries.

51. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has submitted, or will submit forthwith, the report of the Commission on the Cocoa Dispute in the Gold Coast to the Colonial Marketing Board for their observations; and whether he will submit their observations to this House?

Mr. MacDonald

Copies of the Cocoa Commission's Report have been sent to the Colonial Empire Marketing Board, but I have not so far considered it necessary to invite their observations. The board would no doubt prefer to defer their observations until the report of the committee appointed by the Governor of the Gold Coast has been received. The second part of the question does not therefore at present arise.

Mr. Creech Jones

Will the right hon. Gentleman favourably consider the desirability of obtaining the views of such a representative body as the board, and further, will he do all in his power to speed up the sittings of the committee, since the delay is causing considerable anxiety in certain industrial parts of the country?

Mr. MacDonald

I understand that the committee is already sitting and has been working for some time. As to the first part of the question, I should certainly be anxious to get the opinions of this board, but I think they themselves would prefer to consider the report in conjunction with the report of the committee in the Gold Coast.

Mr. Cartland

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that before he takes action after the report has been received, he will consult interests in this country?