HC Deb 29 January 1941 vol 368 c541
19. Mr. David Adams

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, as an alternative to burning again the West African cocoa crop, it has been decided to store or process upon the spot the second war-time crop for release after the war?

Mr. George Hall

Only very small quantities of last season's crop were destroyed. These were of a quality unsuitable for storage. The possibility is now being considered of storing surplus cocoa of good quality from this season's crop. Long-term storage accommodation already exists in West Africa for eight months' normal requirements of the European markets now cut off by the blockade.

Mr. Adams

Is there any notion of introducing machinery for processing the cocoa?

Mr. Hall

That matter is being considered, but there are practical difficulties. One of these difficulties, of course, is obtaining the necessary machinery for the purpose of processing, but all these matters are being considered.

Mr. Hannah

Could not some of this cocoa be brought to this country?

Mr. Hall

The difficulty with regard to the transport of cocoa is similar to that of the transport of many other commodities. It is the difficulty of shipping.