HC Deb 13 March 1940 vol 358 cc1196-7
64. Sir P. Hannon

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will inform the House on the present industrial and agricultural prospects of the Colony and Protectorate of Sierra Leone; and whether, subject to war conditions, transport facilities are being made available for the export trade of this part of the Colonial Empire?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The outbreak of the war hasinevitably caused some dislocation in the economic life of Sierra Leone. The diamond and gold industries continue to flourish, but the palm-oil and palm-kernel and the iron ore industries are somewhat embarrassed by shipping difficulties. I am keeping a watch on the position with a view to giving all possible assistance for the maintenance of the Colony's export trade, and am maintaining a close touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Shipping.

Sir P. Hannon

Would my right hon. Friend say whether in point of fact the labour troubles in that part of the Colonial Empire are now being cleared up?

Mr. MacDonald

The labour situation is much more satisfactory following the establishment of a labour department and the appointment of an excellent labour officer.

Mr. Paling

Have wages gone up?