HC Deb 01 May 1940 vol 360 cc700-1
32. Mr. Paling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made in the building of houses, the provision of land for land settlement, and the reduction of unemployment in the island of St. Helena within the last 12 months?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The outbreak of war has caused difficulty in obtaining the necessary materials, but during the last 12 months some 10 houses have been completed; and a grant from the Colonial Development Fund to enable 64 cottages to be built has recently been approved. This scheme includes provision of about two acres of land for each cottage. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Moseley (Sir P. Hannon) on 6th March, of which I am sending him a copy.

Mr. Paling

Is it not a fact that the outbreak of war operated in the opposite direction of increasing employment in some ways? It has in certain of the island industries.

Mr. MacDonald

In some ways it has in certain island industries, but it has tended to slow up the process of house building, as I have said, because of the difficulty of obtaining building materials.