HC Deb 15 March 1939 vol 345 cc406-8
64. Mr. Ridley

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the urgency of some of the questions being investigated by the Commission of Inquiry into Economic and Social Conditions in the West Indies, any interim report of the proceedings of the committee may be expected?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to a similar question, by the hon. and learned Member for East Leicester (Mr. Lyons) on 8th March.

Mr. Ridley

In view of the appalling sanitary conditions in the Colony, is not the urgency of the need for doing some thing at the earliest possible moment realised?

Mr. MacDonald

We are already doing a certain amount, but these are all questions which are being considered by the Royal Commission, and further action depends on their recommendations.

68. Captain A. Evans

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what urgent representations he has received from the Royal Commission now in the West Indies relating to the British and Colonial sugar quota, or other matters affecting the economic outlook in Jamaica; and further, whether an interim report is to be published, and when this can be expected?

70. Sir Walter Smiles

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what recommendations were made by the Royal Commission in the West Indies which would tend to the immediate improvement of economic conditions in Jamaica?

74. Mr. Mitchell

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has received any recommendations from the Royal Commission in regard to Jamaica; and, if so, when they will be published?

Mr. MacDonald

The West India Royal Commission are still taking evidence in Trinidad, and have not yet submitted any formal recommendations. I received in formal suggestions from a number of members of the commission regarding certain aspects of the situation in Jamaica, but these were confidential, and I am not at liberty to disclose the views of the commissioners pending their formal report. They do not contemplate presenting an interim report, and I cannot yet say when their full report will be presented or published.

Captain Evans

Does my right hon. Friend propose to take any action on the informal recommendations which have already been made?

Mr. MacDonald

I have already taken some action on some of them.

Mr. Sorensen

Could the right hon. Gentleman not ask for an interim report, seeing that the matter is very important?

Mr. MacDonald

I suggested some weeks ago to the chairman the possibility of an interim report, but he answered that he thought it would be a mistake, as it would delay the preparation of a full report, which is a matter of great urgency.