HC Deb 22 November 1939 vol 353 cc1208-9
37. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the bad social conditions in Trinidad as revealed by the 1937 report on the industrial dispute and the Orde-Brown inquiry into the condition of labour, he will acknowledge the generosity of the war gift of £200,000 from the Trinidad Legislature, and direct that it be utilised for decent housing, preventive medicine, social services, land settlement schemes, and the abolition of poverty and squalor in the Dependency?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The contribution of 1,000,000 dollars, or somewhat over £200,000, towards war expenditure, which has been generously voted by the Legislative Council of Trinidad and Tobago, on the initiative of the unofficial members, is being made from the Colony's reserve fund of 5,000,000 dollars, and it should not affect the programme of social and economic development in Trinidad which is being financed from other funds. The gift has been gratefully accepted by His Majesty's Government, and I would take this opportunity of expressing in this House my appreciation of the spirit of loyal co-operation in war displayed by the Colony.

Mr. Creech Jones

May I have an assurance from the right hon. Gentleman that there will not be any retrenchment in the social services for the purpose of making good the money that now goes out of that fund?

Mr. MacDonald

Yes, Sir.

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